Dunkirk (PG) ****

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Last Stand!

By Shirl Hollenberg

dunkirkStruggle on a grandiose scale unfolds emotionally in Dunkirk. Taken from the pages of history by Warner Brothers Studios this landmark film has Oscar stamped all over it. Don’t be left behind as was the potential fate of scores of allied Soldiers on that infamous beachfront real estate during World War 2. Share the spectacle from afar in the comfort of Cineplex Cinemas across the British Columbia landscape.

In the air, under the water and above ground cinema magician Christopher Nolan takes you on an unforgettable journey. Even better is seeing this epic in IMAX as it was shot using this famed Canadian homegrown technology. Through the eyes of a few central soldiers we get to witness up and close and almost too personal the valiant efforts to remain alive.

Atmosphere is key to any experience and during times of war this is even moreso. Tremendous special effects showing the in your face barrage of mayhem courtesy of German warplanes pounding away at British soldiers readying for rescue is gut-wrenching. Scenes of survival beat all too well Darwin’s survival of the fittest theme throughout this 104-minute odyssey. However, Nolan filmed this tale you also get that feeling of claustrophobia even during dogfights high up in the sky or marooned soldiers fighting not only German Luftwaffe fighters but also incoming bullets and the odd torpedo barreling ahead.

Scope and vision with a nod to historical accuracy come across flawlessly in this expertly acted journey. Despite the presence of thespian stalwarts Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy the ultimate success of this film largely rests in the shoulders of a group of relatively new up and coming talents. They do not disappoint but shine bright instead.