You get a sense of Dunkirk’s scope from the second shot of its main trailer, released Friday:
That’s a lot of guys on a beach. Which makes sense: Dunkirk tells the story of the evacuation of 400,000 British soldiers from the beaches of France. Think of it as a sort of full-employment act for pretty British actors: Cillian Murphy on a boat, Tom Hardy in a plane, Kenneth Branagh on a pier, Mark “We’re going to Dunkirk” Rylance, and a whole host of handsome young whippersnappers (including Harry Styles, given minimal screen time in these 150 seconds) are all here.
But we knew most of that from the last teaser, released in December. Beyond the galactic scope, what have we learned about Dunkirk? To start, Mark Rylance in a vest forever:
Rylance plays a member of the British civilian navy tasked with rescuing soldiers. He’ll be the moral compass and say “Dunkirk” a lot. (He does it twice in the trailer. For those scoring at home: Both times are great, but the second “Dunkirk” — the same one from the teaser — is just a little bit sharper.)
He’s picked up Cillian Murphy, who doesn’t want to go back to Dunkirk, because there is war there. Murphy, then, continues his streak as the villain — or at least the man of ambiguous morals — in any Christopher Nolan film he appears in.
Tom Hardy, too, has made it clear that he will gladly show up for a couple days of work on a Chris Nolan film, but only if he gets to wear his mask and shearling coat and do a muffled voice:
And Harry Styles — oh, poor Harry Styles. I say this with a heavy heart, and with the awareness that it will disappoint a great many Harry fans, but: Harry Styles is probably going to die in Dunkirk.
It’s a sign of the times, Harry: Dunkirk is not a safe place for you.
For fans of war movies, accents, and ticking soundtracks, though? Dunkirk is the safest place imaginable. It’s really, really big, too. Most of Christopher Nolan’s movies are megasized chamber pieces: The Prestige is about two dudes. The Dark Knight movies have a half-dozen characters; same with Interstellar. Dunkirk is about 400,000 people! Back in December, my colleague Chris Ryan prayed that Dunkirk would receive a running time of four years. That may be an exaggeration, but something on the order of four hours really isn’t. Christopher Nolan, king of the giant movie, is launching a full-scale invasion on American cinemas this July. I hope Mark Rylance putters his boat in to save us all.