A beautiful batch of memories (the present-day in-colour intro is a nice touch) gorgeously shot, lovingly soundtracked, and wonderfully performed. The sharp tonal shifts from brutal violence to charming childhood innocence are jarring and undermine the impact of the former but they feel authentic to the film’s recollection patchwork perspective, which Branagh sews perfectly, finding all those sweet spots of significance in the past for the present: “I’m going nowhere you can’t find me.”
Couldn’t hear half the dialogue and only understood half of the rest, but it’s a testament to Nolan’s ambitious and undeniably exciting brand of filmmaking that I was on the edge of my seat throughout regardless: the espionage plot and sci-fi concept are both confusing but compelling, the action is brilliant, the technical aspects top notch. It’s a shame the only emotion is found in yet another Russian villain and a simply modernized damsel-in-distress (Debicki’s turn remains excellent though).
Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II. (IMDb)
I appreciated the effort to strip any story fluff or contrived emotions away from the event at hand, and along with the triple-timeline narrative it made for a tightly focused and refreshing approach to the genre, but in the end its lack of exposition on the event’s scope and context (just a title screen wasn’t enough for me) made for a bit of an underwhelming experience, despite the amazing visuals, tense action set pieces, solid acting, and perfectly subtle yet strong character work.
7.5/10 (Really Good)