Recently, I was dragged out, kicking and screaming to see Christopher Nolan’s movie Dunkirk.
I may have mentioned before that World War II movies are not my thing. Every last gram of interest in the subject was wrung out of me in high school (During a time when Every day was a World War II Anniversary of some sort. Did you know that today is the anniversary of the day that FDR got body lice off Stalin? We have a six-hour documentary.) We won’t discuss how much of my “education” involved staring at television, but suffice it to say that I have hit my limit.
Short version? Dunkirk is basically Das Boot played in reverse with a few extra airplanes thrown in for color. Somehow, it still manages to maintain that depressing “all is futile” ending. (Okay, by overshooting a couple of good ending points, and following the characters back to where the school kid who’s accidentally killed when he hits his head on the way to Dunkirk is highlighted in the papers as the “hero” of Dunkirk. We’re all just fighting for propaganda, boys and girls.)
So, I watched the movie, and then I spent the rest of the afternoon tracking down YouTube videos of various Rolls Royce engine sounds. (‘Cause there’s a point in the film where one of the characters cheerfully ignores–doesn’t even look up– an airplane at an unknown distance and an unknown altitude because he’s just that sure… from the sound… that it’s a Merlin and not a Kestrel. I have a lousy ear, but I wouldn’t bet my life I could tell the difference.)
Have I mentioned that I love the internet?
All said and done, I didn’t hate the movie, but I wouldn’t watch it again, either.
Everyone knows the best war movies are the ones with half-naked Spartans in them.
Penthos Does Piraeus, anyone?