Dunkirk Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Dunkirk by Hans Zimmer.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 83.6
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 26.7
Album Excellence: 44.5%
Dunkirk is a 2017 English-language war film directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Fionn Whitehead, Damien Bonnard & Aneurin Barnard. In May 1940, Germany advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover from British and French forces, troops were slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessel that could be found. At the end of this heroic mission, 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers were safely evacuated. The score is composed by Hans Zimmer.
Team Zimmer and Nolan is back together again and that’s likely to be yet another amazing collaboration. The Zimmer-Nolan sound does have a special feel to it, but they have never tackled a World War 2 movie together, but surely they aren’t abandoning their winning formula. As you can hear in the opening cue ‘The Mole’, the sound is very much intact and it’s going to be quite unique to hear it in context. There has never been a World War 2 movie with a sound like this, that’s for sure. If you’ve watched the trailers, time is of high importance and Zimmer used a clock to very good effect inside his music. The opening cue really sets the mood and it’s very exciting to listen to.There’s something off about the sound though, and I feel it just lacks progression at times. You have many cues that has a nice mood to it, but the sound doesn’t sustain the cues. Take ‘We Need Our Army Back’ for example, it’s nice to listen to, but the music doesn’t excite me.
There was a single cue released before the score itself, and that cue is ‘Supermarine’, an action cue that reminds me a bit of ‘Mombasa’ from Inception. It’s not as good though, but it’s still quite exciting to listen to. Lorne Balfe and Benjamin Wallfisch is also featured on the score with a few cues. Balfe is featured on ‘Regimental Brothers’ and ‘End Titles (Dunkirk)’ while Wallfisch is featured on ‘Home’, ‘Variation’ and ‘End Titles (Dunkirk)’. They add something to the music. More edge perhaps, but I don’t think they add enough to convince me that this score is any better than it is. The second part of ‘Home’ though is quite excellent. The best and most interesting cues on the score is without a doubt ‘Variation 15 (Dunkirk)’ and ‘End Titles (Dunkirk)’ which features British classical composer Sir Edward William Elgar. It features that heroic music I felt that we deserved from this. Of course this means that Zimmer won’t be getting any academy awards for the score unless they remove the pre-existing music rule. I can’t help but feel a sense of disappointment with this score. When Nolan and Zimmer get together, great things usually happens, and it did in parts, but overall, the score didn’t excite me enough.
1. The Mole
10. Variation 15 (Dunkirk) *
11. End Titles (Dunkirk)