war

Dunkirk

Dunkirk Poster

Released 2017. Written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Starring Fionn Whitehead, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh.

Spoilers follow.

No film has ever left me speechless. I’ve sometimes said, “I’m speechless”, but those words have always emerged fully formed.

As the credits rolled and the lights came up after Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s World War II blockbuster, I didn’t know what I felt. I didn’t know if I felt anything. I wondered whether I’d missed something. But when I opened my mouth to speak, I had to hold my tongue because I felt my jaw quivering and my eyes welling up. It took me several moments before I could utter a coherent sentence. I’ve sobbed at the ends of films before, but this was something different. This was shell shock.

(more…)

Advertisements

Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow Cruise

Released 2014. Directed by Doug Liman. Screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie and Jez & John-Henry Butterworth. Based on “All You Need Is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Starring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton.

Aren’t we getting tired of my reminding you that I reveal plot spoilers in these things? It’s like I’m repeating myself day after day after day…

I had low expectations of Edge of Tomorrow. After Knight and Day, I was wondering whether Tom Cruise should give up the action movies. He’s getting on, after all. I’d seen the trailer and sarcastically summed up the premise as Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers meets D-Day from Saving Private Ryan. I was anticipating two hours of unintelligible nonsense with Cruise’s face glued over it in the hope I wouldn’t notice. It looked so… stupid.

I’m so glad to say that I needn’t have worried. While my sarcastic description is absolutely correct, I didn’t realise that there was a good version of that mashup to be made. Edge of Tomorrow is creative. It’s funny. It’s energetic. It eschews darkness and introspection – it’s constantly on the move, doing new things. In some ways it’s a real throwback to the way it used to be done before Christopher Nolan showed up with his grumpy Batman. This is what action movies should be like.

(more…)