Friday, November 20, 2009


The Dam Busters: Contains many elements of the typical 1950s Brit-warflick (genius inventor persisting in the face of widespread rejection, stiff-upper-lipped airline pilots who never actually question what all the killing and dying is for; lots of black and white aviation techno-porn), but rises above the herd by being actually funny in places (normally these things are so po-faced you have to go watch some comedy with lots of swearing afterwards to cleanse your brain), and, in its first half, being remarkably pacy. Bizarrely, this is the half with all the inventing and planning in it; the second half, containing the actual raid, is much slower and best viewed on fast-forward. Having watched a lot of Armstrong and Miller lately, I kept expecting the pilots to break into chav-speak. The final irony is that although the film has cemented the bombing of the Ruhr dams in the British psyche as a moment of national pride to be brought up by any petty right-winger wanting to point out how great we were before the advent of the EU and the demise of empire and all that, the raid itself was actually a bit of a disaster; not as much damage done to German industry as hoped, and most of the casualties being Allied POWs and forced labourers.

Movie count for 2009: 98.