Fat Man And Little Boy

"Weak"

Fat Man And Little Boy Review


The trouble with true stories is a subject I like to tackle. I really hit it hard with Patch Adams, which was idiotic enough to use "based on a true story" as its tag line. Likewise, I'm not going easy on Fat Man and Little Boy for the fact that it is based on fact.

Fat Man and Little Boy, for anyone who has been locked up for the past sixty years, are the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan. The movie is basically a humanization of the people who invented in, the team of crackpot physicists on the Manhattan Project (led by Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, played by Dwight Schultz) and the military general in charge (Leslie Groves, played by Paul Newman). John Cusack plays the wunderkid of the physicists, Michael Merriman. Laura Dern plays his girlfriend, a nurse.

Now I like Cusack and I love Dern, but Paul Newman has gotten on my nerves one too many times and Dwight Schultz is too much a character actor to play the part. He can play a nerd, he can play a funny nerd, but he can't play a moralistic nerd.

The movie spends about two hours talking. The first part of it is talking physics. The second part of it is talking morals. Physics is a subject you probably don't have any interest in. Morals are a subject that, when applied right, push emotional buttons.

With the way Fat Man and Little Boy was filmed, morals don't do much for it. To a brain, the movie is slightly fascinating to watch. To a philosopher, the movie might be interesting. To Joe Schmoe from Alamo, forget it.

All of the plot twists can be found in the history books, so I don't hesitate to spoil the ending: they build the impossible weapon. And along the way a couple of people die. And by the time they get it done they really didn't need it, but the cruel general wanted it so they gave it to him. Etc.

The movie might actually have been good if it had been done with a little more pinnace. The characters may be real, but they are not well developed. We do not get any reasons why for anyone. In a normal movie this would be OK but Fat Man and Little Boy decided it wanted not only to be a moralistic sermon on the mount but a character drama, too.

Even the good actors in this film perform badly. Dern, normally one of the finest actresses to grace the silver screen over the past 20 years, ends up simply acting the lovestruck bimbo. Cusack, a generally smart fellow, does his best to act his worst.

And don't even get me started on Paul Newman.

I grew up in the Cold War. I grew up with constantly being told that we could be nuked at any moment. I grew up with the history lessons on the creation of the bomb.

I don't care to watch a bad two-hour long film about it.



Fat Man And Little Boy

Facts and Figures

Run time: 127 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th October 1989

Distributed by: Paramount Home Video

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 53%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Gen. Leslie R. Groves, as J. Robert Oppenheimer, as Kitty Oppenheimer, as Michael Merriman, as Kathleen Robinson, as Peter de Silva, John C. McGinley as Capt. Richard Schoenfield, MD, as Jean Tatlock, as Jamie Latrobe, Michael Brockman as William 'Deke' Parsons

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.