Warner Bros. has released the final trailer for Christopher Nolan's upcoming World War II drama Dunkirk. After proving his hand at genre pictures like The Dark Knight and Interstellar, the director is delving into a new genre with his latest endeavor, which is a war movie. Based on the true story of an evacuation mission where Allied soldiers stranded on a beach were saved from the German army, the project promises to be another visually-stunning, grand scale work from the filmmaker, who has made a name for himself painting on a large canvas. Taking advantage of the IMAX format, Dunkirk should be a wonder to behold on the big screen.
Recently, Dunkirk made some curious headlines when it received a PG-13 rating instead of an expected R, a development that caused viewers to believe it wouldn't be as intense as it should be. But between comments from Nolan and footage shown in marketing and at CinemaCon, it's apparent Dunkirk was crafted to leave the viewer on the edge of their seat - without relying heavily on violence and gore. Now, with roughly two months to go until its premiere, the last trailer for Dunkirk has made its way online. You can watch it above.
Nolan has gone on record describing the film's complex plot structure, which cuts between the land, water, and air to provide audiences with multiple viewpoints, creating a more immersive story. That approach is certainly hinted at in this preview, which is the most extensive look at Dunkirk yet. A significant portion of the running time is dedicated to civilian boats setting out to rescue the 400,000 men trapped, a subplot that involves both Mark Rylance and Nolan mainstay Cillian Murphy. Tom Hardy, another frequent Nolan collaborator, has a role as a fighter pilot, taking part in some visceral dogfight sequences. Nolan has always been an ambitious director, and Dunkirk is no exception. He's always looking for a way to challenge himself.
Interestingly enough, a majority of the Dunkirk marketing has been more about establishing the tone, atmosphere, and primary conflict rather than individual characters to latch on to. The film itself will most likely have a group of protagonists that audiences will follow along, but the trailers are mainly concerned with showcasing Nolan's craftsmanship and the inherent dread of the situation. It's safe to say the advertising has done a great job, as Dunkirk looks like it will be a bold and worthwhile entry into a subgenre that's been explored several times in Hollywood before. It will be fascinating to see how it all comes together, especially since Nolan is juggling three different threads that will have to come together to form a coherent whole.
Cinephiles know all too well that World War II is a favorite era of the Academy, so Dunkirk conceivably could be one of this year's awards contenders if it lives up to its on-paper potential. Many believe Nolan has been snubbed by the Oscars a few times before, so a war epic could be his big breakthrough there. Regardless, fans of the director should be in for a treat when Dunkirk opens, and hopefully it will be an inspiring tale that pays respect to the unbelievable true story.
- Dunkirk (2017) release date: Jul 21, 2017