T-Pūtea's rating: 5/5
Here's the short answer: This is Christopher Nolan's greatest movie. An incredible cinema experience that leaves you feeling devastated and empty...fun aye?
Some amazing performances by actors at the peak of their career. This movie has ZERO CGI too, which in a Marvel/DC dominated industry is very rare, and it reminds you how great it is to see something on the screen that you know actually happened on the set.
Stop reading now if you don't want to have specific movie details spoiled!
Cilian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer is incredible and you feel like you're inside his brain. Robert Downey Jr was a fantastic antagonist. In true Christopher Nolan fashion, this is not a straight forward story. It cuts back and forward from the future and past.
The culmination of all of this was so brilliant, somehow keeping and building upon the momentum AFTER the bomb goes off. I really thought the bomb would be the end of the movie, but the subsequent 30/45 mins was the most enthralling and thrilling part.
Emily Blunt was under utilised until her final moments, where she delivers a stunning, show stopping, scene stealing performance.
This story is as complex as it gets. Not only does it involve complex quantum mechanics and theory, it also involves high level politics and bureaucracy.
Told in a chronological fashion, this story would have been two very separate knots of brain melting jargon and headache inducing concepts.
Splitting these narratives up and building to one crescendo allows for the slow induction of important and necessary information, while continually building and growing the speed and life force of the film.
The VFX are out of this world. From the inner workings and torments of Oppie's mind, to the full scale nuclear explosion, to the vibrating backdrop to Oppenheimer's anxieties and moral quandaries. After years of numbness-by-CGI, Nolan shows how viceral and raw an in-camera set piece can be. You feel that bomb.
The final few minutes put the entire three hour feast into the context of the world we live in, the world Oppenheimer built. The chances that he would destroy the world were near zero, and the movie leaves you with the question...did he?