1917

1917 ★★★

Time to fulfill my contrarian role, because seriously what in this movie hasn't been done better in Dunkirk?

Let's get this out of the way. I hate war movies for the most part. The worst part about them? WALKING SCENES. And that's what the first, oh I don't know TWENTY MINUTES IS. Then something happens and we're back to traveling. Loooots of traveling. Hey, maybe it's because of the one-shot look? Okay I'm not gonna go hard on dissing that because it was done well, but I kinda wish Deakins had more freedom to do some cooler shots.

There's really one main problem that makes the traveling an issue, and that's that there's not really intensity being built. YES, I KNOW PEOPLE WILL ARGUE THIS, but were there really enough hints things could go wrong during that first walk? I don't think so. Now, there are intense MOMENTS, I'll say that. They just happen so soon after the possibility of something going wrong is revealed, you don't get that sense of dread building up. There aren't really *setpieces* here until the back half, and those are rather short.

You also don't really get that much weight put onto the task at hand. Sure, they tell you what could go wrong, but you don't FEEL it. You DO feel the relief at the end, somewhat (after Uncut Gems though what really can make you that nervous in the first place), and you definitely get some emotion, but up until that part? It's just fine.

Dunkirk you get every one of these flaws ironed out, plus a narrative that is actually engaging. Fuck, am I sounding like a Nolan fanboy? Maybe I am, but it doesn't matter because after Skyfall took so many cues from The Dark Knight, I can't help but feel like Mendes is now riding on Nolan's coattails knowingly.

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