Valkyrie

by

Director – Bryan Singer

Writer – Christopher Quarrie, Nathan Alexander

Starring – Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy

Synopsis

Valkyrie opens with Colonel Stauffenberg (Cruise) in Africa, penning in a journal his thoughts about World War II, and how he feels Hitler is destroying Germany. Stauffenberg states he took an oath to swear allegiance to Hitler, but feels he owes more to Germany. He joins an alliance of inside men who have had several unsuccessful attempts at the Füehres life. He hatches a fool-proof plan which, when successful, will cause them to inherit rule over Germany and bring peace to the world. However, a turn of events (brought on by a poorly timed bout of Summer Sun) thwarts Colonel Stauffenberg’s plan; but being stubborn and relentless he chooses to continue. Although the plan was altogether unsuccessful, resulting in most of the men losing their lives, Stauffenberg created an administrative shit-storm for the remaining Nazi’s. Based on a true story.

valk

Review

It may come as a shock to those of you who do not spend every waking moment watching war documentaries on Discovery, but most of the Nazi’s in Germany spoke in their native tongue – German. Those that could not would mask it by putting on a sneaky German accent and would generally not speak. However, Hollywood likes to think of this as a mistake in the Nazi’s judgement, and its latest improvement manages to blend the lesser German language (of which I am told is junk German anyway) into the superior English language in less than 30 seconds. Well, what the hell is wrong with that? is what you might be thinking; and the answer is plenty. It is generally considered that the English and American’s had a large role opposing the Nazi’s in WWII and despite never seeing the Allied’s; hearing the Axis speak like them is enough for you to take a step back from the entire film. When you hear an extra shout out in a Scottish accent you can do nothing but laugh and shake your head in bewilderment.

As a thriller, Valkyrie has its moments. Adolf Hitler is built up well and the meeting Colonel Stauffenberg has with him gives him a deserving presence. Ofcourse, we all know that Operation Walküre did not succeed, which does take some of the energy from the film; but it is more about how could the plan not succeed and how they handle it when it does not; these are the questions that Valkyrie attempts to answer. The three key scenes – the Adolf Hitler meet; the assasination attempt and the last stand are all executed correctly; creating the perfect mood for each one and putting the “thrill” into thriller (did I just say that?). However, the rest of the film is lacking, with director Bryan Singer probably choosing to build around the three set pieces. Most of Valkyrie will have you considering your seating position and whether bald people should be allowed in to cinemas.

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Tom Cruise is on top form as Colonel Stauffenberg; a character which he gives a commanding presence to, as well as giving him a madness in his relentlessness (which comes with the Cruise package). Noone else is particularly memorable (other than the Scottish guy!) with Bill Nighy playing the wimpy General Friedrich Olbricht and Kenneth Branagh as Major-General Henning v. Tresckow.

Overall – A few moments of inspired genius are thwarted by the average Tom Cruise fan not having the intelligence to read subtitles.

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2 Responses to “Valkyrie”

  1. Snizzle left in Brizzle Says:

    nice review. i would like to know more about cruises charchter tho. what drove him to do what he did? is he a kind of schindler character? is he very cruise like? is he thinking that he is out of his comfort zone cos he’s playing a german colonel etc… i assume cruise has a lot of screen time so i’d like to know more than 3 lines.

    like the length tho.

  2. Snizzle left in Brizzle Says:

    plus you never really say if you like it or not.

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