If anyone can get the masses of 2017 excited about a World War II movie about British people with no huge stars, it’s Christopher Nolan. “Dunkirk” has yet another new trailer, running only a minute long and consisting of nothing but really exciting, intense action while a score that sounds vaguely like the intro to Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” throbs underneath.
This isn’t the traditional way to sell a war movie. Usually such trailers feature rousing and/or sentimental music while narrators wax poetic about heroism and stuff. There’s no time for that in “Dunkirk.” It’s all people trying to survive: men on a beach firing into the sky; medics rushing the wounded on stretchers through crowds; soldiers leaping off a sinking ship; bits of a dogfight in the air; and, of course, explosions.
Weirdly, this new trailer-thing elides the biggest selling point: the words “Christopher Nolan.” The director is only alluded to by his past hits “Interstellar” and “The Dark Knight” trilogy. He’s one of the few auteurs who’s also a household name — a name that’s a sign of quality and ambition at an epic scale. Only Christopher Nolan could get a major studio to dump a ton of money into a period piece whose biggest star is Tom Hardy, and only he can get audiences to treat movies with heady ideas like they were Marvel movies. In an age when everything at the movies is a brand, Nolan is a brand, too.
These new trailers, though, put most of its energy into selling the movie itself. And it continues to look exciting — even more exciting than the five random minutes we saw of it months ago. We’re even more thrilled to learn it’s only 107 minutes — Nolan’s shortest movie since his 70-minute debut “Following.” It’s not just that we’re tired of sitting through long ass films; it suggests “Dunkirk” will be tight and furious. It looks like it won’t let up. Of course, that could be a bad thing, in a way. To those of us who suffer from anxiety, this looks like an under-two-hour-long panic attack.
“Dunkirk” hits theaters — some of them even showing it in large-format 70mm! — on July 21. Watch the trailer below: