Thursday, January 22, 2009


Four of Five Stars
Rated PG-13

It's the greatest WWII story that's never been told. However, as the list of great movie thrillers is compiled through the ages, Valkyrie likely won't be at the top of the list. There were things that bothered me about the film, things that kept it from being great. But in the absence of "great" we get "pretty darn awesome." The suspense is well built and comes to nail biting crossroads at several times in the film. True to the historical events on which the screenplay is written, the film bleeds sincerity.

It is this realistic look at the inner circle of the Fuhrer that makes the movie so devilishly delicious. An amazing performance by David Bamber reveals a neurotic and increasingly recluse Hitler. The "creep" factor of watching someone emulate the socialist leader so accurately is worth the watch alone. Costuming was exquisite as were the period vehicles. Filming on location also added to the mystique of watching someone try to assassinate Hitler and bring an early end to the war.

Sadly this magic is broken by the lack of dedication to some details. While I'm glad the producers & director elected not to try to elicit German accents from the entire cast, I was shaken to hear generals speak to each other in British accents. Sometimes Cruise's lack of accent was equally distracting, but the actor himself was not. As with many of this films, Tom Cruise did not so much add anything to the film as he did not spoil it. A solid performance where Cruise is Cruise (regardless of whether he is a samurai, as spy, or German soldier) actually anchored the film - due to the fact that he LOOKED so right in the role. Upon further investigation, he is a remarkable match to the real Lieutenant Stauffenburg as are almost everyone else in film who mirror a real person.

In the end, you may not fully understand socialism without first understanding Wagner, but no affinity for period films or war stories is needed to enjoy this suspenseful thriller with the amazing true-life story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi , I'm Wen , nice blog