Obscure Netflix Movie Review: The Dam Busters

In my continuing Quest to Watch All the Movies on Netflix (so you don’t have to), I took on The Dam Busters a few days ago. The premise was intriguing. WWII British movie made in 1955, focused on the efforts of the British to come up with a way to blow up strategically important German dams. (They were protected in such a way that bombs couldn’t be dropped in from above, and they couldn’t be torpedoed from below. So . . . WWII and science. Awesomesauce.

And guess what else? It was one of the films George Lucas used to edit the attack on the Death Star together in Episode IV. So it’s geekily important to boot.

Did it live up to my hopes?

More or less. The pacing was a bit off in spots (ironically, the science parts were the best done, I felt. As were the actual action scenes. It got bogged down in the preparation scenes at times.) (It also has one of the most objectionable dog names I’ve ever seen in a film: it’s the N word, folks. Awful that they used it. Also interesting that they switched it to “Trigger” for US releases, so clearly they knew they shouldn’t be using it. Just goes to show how different the approaches to racism can be depending on which continent you’re on. So if that word will upset you, avoid this film. It’s in there a lot. Not the dog’s fault.)

But overall, they managed to make a subplot of WWII into something that was inherently watchable. Good buildup of tension, and actually more or less historically accurate, judging by the bit of research I did after the watching. Directed by Michael Anderson, who also did Logan’s Run and Around the World in 80 Days. If you’re looking for a good, lesser-known war movie, look no further. (And comparing it to the Death Star scene in Star Wars, you can totally see the influence–very fascinating on a filmic level.)

Three stars, maybe a smidge higher.

(And in other Netflix news, I’ve now watched America’s Sweethearts, bringing my John Cusak number of seen movies to 23. Verdict on this one? I enjoyed it, although I enjoy pretty much anything Cusak is in. I have no idea why. Denisa thought it was too vulgar in many spots. I did think it was ironic that a sweet romantic comedy had that much profanity and crude jokes. So take that for what it’s worth.)

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