Barbie Vs Oppenheimer – Which should you see on release day?
Introduction: The Buzz Surrounding Barbie and Oppenheimer
Barbie and Oppenheimer are easily two of the most highly anticipated movie releases of the year, despite being two very different films. Both have incredible casts, both have amazing plots, and both have had an excellent promotional tour, so how do you decide which one you should see first? Both of these movies are due to be released on the same day, and social media has dubbed the event “Barbenheimer”. Queues at the cinema are sure to be long but whether cinemagoers will be there for Barbie or Oppenheimer is still to be determined by many.
Plot and Genre Analysis: What to Expect from Barbie and Oppenheimer
These movies are pretty much the polar opposite of each other, one being bright, fun, and comedic, the other being dark, brooding and serious. Despite being vastly different, both movies have massive draw-ins for different audiences.
Directed by Greta Gerwig, the plot of the Barbie movie sees Barbie figuring out that the world may not be what she thinks. It is light-hearted and fun, with dance sequences, and slapstick comedy. Just from the trailer, we can see that this movie is going to be a comedic feast, full of jokes for all ages, and with Will Farrell on board, you just know it’s going to be hilarious.
Oppenheimer, on the other hand, follows the story of Robert J. Oppenheimer, played by Cillian Murphy, and how he created the atomic bomb that killed many people in the battles which ended WW2. He has always been a controversial figure in history, as although his machinery killed many people, many people that without the machinery, the war would have gone on much longer. The movie, directed by Christopher Nolan, tells the story of the creation of the bomb, and his inner conflict about what he could create. It is a much more serious topic than Barbie but is sure to be interesting nonetheless.
The genres of these two films are like chalk and cheese, they have simply nothing in common, yet both have such an incredible buzz around them.
Casting and Performances: The Stellar Casts of Barbie and Oppenheimer
Both of these movies have incredible star-studded casts, with easily recognisable names attached to them.
Barbie has a cast full of celebrities, not all of which are necessarily actors. Let’s start with Barbie. We have Margot Robbie playing the main character of Barbie, and Ryan Gosling is portraying her Ken. In Barbie Land, everyone is a Barbie or Ken. Some of the most famous actors portraying these roles are, Emma Mackey, Ncuti Gatwa, Simu Liu, Nicola Coughlin, Dua Lipa, John Cena, and the list goes on and on. I also mentioned that Will Farrell has a role in this movie, he plays the CEO of Mattel, the company that created Barbie. With this many famous names attached to the project, it is sure to be a hit.
Oppenheimer also has a huge cast filled with celebrities, I mentioned that Oppenheimer will be played by Cillian Murphy, but other famous faces also play big roles in this movie, some of which include, Florence Pugh, Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Rami Malek, and a plethora of other talented actors. With a stellar cast like this, Oppenheimer certainly has some high expectations to meet, and I do not doubt that it will exceed these.
Critical Reception: Early Reviews and Audience Expectations for Barbie and Oppenheimer
So far, both movies have had extremely positive reactions from critics who were invited to early viewings of the movies. Barbie was always expected to be a hit with audiences but has also received an incredible amount of praise from critics. At the time of writing, it has a 90% score on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics saying the film is “visually sumptuous & sublimely silly.” Another critic said, “It is completely bananas, and that just might be something we need right now.” I think this is one of the biggest reasons for all the hype surrounding this movie right now. With everything going on in the world right now, there is so much stress and worry, and a movie like this is the perfect escape to forget about your troubles and just enjoy and laugh.
Oppenheimer has also been receiving rave reviews from critics since its early viewing, although there are some people with different opinions. Some are describing the movie as a cinematic masterpiece, whilst others are suggesting that you take a blanket and pillow. Oppenheimer is a very serious movie, about important events in world history, so, if you have no interest in these things, then it is a very long film to sit through, but if you are interested in these topics, then I think this film will be a hit for you.
Everyone will have their own opinion about these movies, as not everyone has the same taste. When it comes to movies you choose to watch it is hard to decide through reviews. There is such a plethora of different factors that can affect the outcome of how someone feels about a movie that it is almost impossible for everyone to enjoy a movie, some will love it and some will hate it, it is down to you to form your own opinion of whether you enjoy it or not.
Promotional Campaigns: Marketing Strategies for Barbie and Oppenheimer
Both of these films have received a huge amount of media attention surrounding their release and many factors are a cause of this. One of the biggest selling points for these films has been the amount of attention they have received on social media. The fact that these films are both due to be released on the same day has caused a media whirlwind with millions showing interest. This has helped to generate a buzz for both movies and this buzz is exactly what started the conversation of which people were going to see first. In June alone, the phrase “Barbenheimer” had over 36000 searches on Google, not to mention the number of times it has been mentioned on Twitter.
One of the biggest moments from the Barbie trailer that gained a lot of recognition was the scene where Barbie steps out of her high heels, and her heel stays in the air as the doll itself has. This scene sent social media into a frenzy, and thousands of TikTok videos were created by fans all around the world trying to replicate the scene.
One of Oppenheimer’s biggest selling points has been the incredible cast. Cillian Murphy is known worldwide for his portrayal of Thomas Shelby in peaky blinders. This role will be his first since the end of Peaky Blinder, so fans of his are very excited to have him back on screen.
It’s a similar situation with Robert Downey Jr. who has not released a movie since the release of Doolittle in 2020, his previous projects to this were mostly Marvel, where he played his iconic role of Iron Man. The actor has expressed how he had some apprehension when joining the project, wondering if he would be able to portray such a serious role and having been in superhero movies for such a long time. I have no doubts that he will be amazing.
Oppenheimer did not do anywhere near as much promo as the Barbie movie did, but I think the fact that fans of both have combined the movies into one big event, has helped the publicity for Oppenheimer, and drawn in potential new audiences who otherwise may not have been aware of the movies release.
Conclusion: Making the Decision – Which Movie Should You See on Release Day?
So, which movie should you see? I’ve given you the facts and general opinion of others, but when it comes to actually choosing, that is down to you. If you want something fun and lighthearted then Barbie is the safe option. If you are in the mood for something more hard-hitting, however, then I would go for Oppenheimer.
I think I would enjoy Oppenheimer more, so that’s my pick, but who knows, if I’m ever craving a night of cheesy relaxed humour, then Barbie will be on my watch list.
Written by Mark Murphy Director