As you may or may not know, the second trailer for Dunkirk was released over the weekend (if you haven’t seen it yet, you simply must), further detailing some of the action we can expect when Christopher Nolan’s epic WWII drama arrives in cinemas on July 21. If Carlsberg did trailers…


The film is based on the 1940 Dunkirk beach evacuations of 330,000 British and French soldiers. Hitler’s armies had launched a May offensive into France, and although inferior in strength and numbers, rolled the Allied forces right back to the English Channel. In an extraordinary feat of courage, regular civilians traversed the Channel in fishing and leisure boats to retrieve the trapped soldiers, all the time under attack from German land forces and aircraft.

The two and a half minute trailer captures the desperation, fear and utter hopelessness of the soldiers, desperately trying to get back to Blighty. A clock ticks accompanied by the ominous wail of a diving German Stuka, cut short just at the release of its bomb. It makes for compelling viewing!

Here are five details we noticed in this latest look at Nolan’s upcoming historic feature.

• No CGI. Yes, from what we could see there wasn’t one trace of the technology that’s best left for the realms of fantasy; look what it did to Pearl Harbor! Planes and ships are real and the crew purportedly used hundreds of cardboard cutout figures for the dramatic beach scenes.

• To come back to the planes, the aerial sequences are filmed using period aircraft. The eagle-eyed history nerds will have noticed the presence of two Mk1 Supermarine Spitfires – correct for the period – and a Supermarine Spitfire VB that was actually introduced a year later in 1941. For the yellow-nosed Messerschmitt 109E, a Hispano Buchon is employed which is basically a 109 made in Spain during the war under license. Buchons were also used in The Battle of Britain (1969) and Memphis Belle (1990). Ten points awarded for attempts at authenticity.

• In the cockpit of the Spitfire sits Tom Hardy, replete in RAF flying gear, wheeling and turning his plane to coolly latch on to the tail of a 109 and send it plummeting into the sea. Again, although not exactly correct, a real effort has been made to use period equipment. Now, this is real nerding out territory. Hardy is wearing a Type B flying helmet and a Type D oxygen mask with the correct chamois covered microphone – these are absolutely spot-on for 1940 use. His goggles, on the other hand, are Mk IVs, first used in early 1941, but hey, once again, ten out of ten for effort – they’ve gone above and beyond here.

• There’s an American accent present. Jack Lowden plays, what sounds like, an American Spitfire pilot. We’re hoping that a cursory American role hasn’t been conceived purely to appease US audiences. While a small number of American pilots did sign up to fight in the Battle of Britain several months after Dunkirk, it’s unlikely that there were American pilots flying at Dunkirk. Of course, Lowden’s character could be a Canadian pilot of which there were several present during the evacuation.

• Alongside Tom Hardy is another Christopher Nolan regular in Cillian Murphy, but casting aside, another of the filmmaker’s major trademarks – his passion for IMAX – will be taken to the next level. A majority of Dunkirk has been shot using the large screen IMAX format, which Nolan promises will “give the audience the most visceral experiential two hours they can hope for.” On the strength of this new trailer, we’re inclined to agree.

Dunkirk in cinemas July 12. 2017.