Operation Dunkirk (2017) – Review

1/2 Star

The title Operation Dunkirk may suggest this movie is about the Dunkirk evacuation (Operation Dynamo), but this is an Asylum production, so of course it has nothing to do with Dunkirk. As far as I can tell the based on true events claim goes about as far as World War II was an actual event in which this movie takes place. Clearly this wasn’t seen as an important production for Asylum, and is nothing more than their usual quick and cheap output with sole purpose of capitalizing on a name that is similar to a more expensive Hollywood flick.

In Operation Dunkirk several British soldiers must make their way through Nazi infested territory to retrieve an algorithm that may be key to winning the war. I won’t bore you with any specifics from the story, as they really have no importance aside from taking up screen time. The overall through-line of the plot is setup nicely and moves quickly enough, but the biggest issue plaguing this movie is how cheap it is. From the overall look, down to dialogue and action choreography the film screams no budget. The Asylum have surmounted the obstacles of b film-making in the past, and when they do you’re in for a pleasant surprise. But that’s not the case here. Much of the film’s imagery is blown-out and framing slightly off giving a very undeniable video looking effect. Battlefield engagements often look like home movie footage from someone’s World War II re-enactment group. In other words there’s nothing cinematic about this, which is not what you want to see from a war movie. I appreciate them going out and getting real tanks and trucks, but the digital effects are laughably bad (actually most of this movie is so bad you won’t even be laughing), and the practical vehicles aren’t used enough.

Scenes in general have little weight to them, which leaves you uncaring and disengaged. The opening Nazi torture scene should be frightening at the least, instead I was bored from the get go. The characters aren’t well established enough to connect with, which would be fine if the action wasn’t so drab and dull. Many of the scenes lean on a surprisingly well done musical score to add any sort of excitement or emotional content. Although a decent score can be found in most Asylum flicks due to their continued use of composer Chris Ridenhour. Other than the music this is a let down in every way possible.

If you’re a fan of action or drama based war movies don’t ruin your palette with this stinker.

Director: Nick Lyon
Stars: Ifan Meredith, Kimberley Hews, Darren Hill, Kyle Hotz

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