Fat Man and Little Boy casts a wide net, but it never really traps its subject. The screenplay simply isn't up to the job. Only in the last half hour, as Trinity approaches, does dramatic fission occur. [30 Oct 1989, p.75]
Newman has no trouble bringing the tough-talking ‘can do’ general to life. The trouble is the scriptwriters have no interest in exploring the man behind the mission. This tends to tilt the dramatic balance toward Oppenheimer. The film falls short here, too, partially because of Schultz’ lackluster performance, but primarily because the script fails to give a clue to what made this man tick.
Fat Man and Little Boy is so confused, so stunningly ineffective, that General Groves's hawkish statements are more persuasive than the dove-ish apprehensions expressed by the scientists. Even the sight of a scientist dying horribly of radiation poisoning fails to be moving.