Valkyrie

During WWII there were numerous attempts to assassinate Hitler, 15 at least. Valkyrie is based on the last documented attempt just prior to Hitler’s suicide and Germany’s loss to the Allies. Among the things in this compelling storyline about the people involved, is the story of a Germany divided and breaking apart from within which is particularly interesting.

Very well written – Tom Cruise plays Col. Claus von Stauffenberg who ends up in a position which allows him to get close to Hitler. On his way there, he aligns himself with various dissenter’s of Hitler’s Germany. They think the SS has gone too far and that Germany will be destroyed by the Allies unless they relent which Hitler is unwilling to do. As a result, much of the higher levels of the German Military outside of the SS start to band together with politicians and others like von Stauffenberg, who introduces the plan to overthrow and assassinate their leader. Dialog is well written and carries the plotline through very effectively, also due to the talented lineup…

Speaking of which, the impressive lineup includes: Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Terence Stamp, and Eddie Izzard all of whom give great performances. I especially liked Bill Nighy’s delivery and emotion. Cruise tries a bit too hard at times but overall does a nice performance as well.

The film is really well directed by the talented Bryan Singer. The look and feel of the film is very authentic and compliments the tone of the script with efficient fluidity. This is something a little different for both Tom Cruise and Bryan Singer and while there may be a few rough patches here and there, I thought they pulled together an overall strong film about this historic and tragic event.

This isn’t a high action Tom Cruise film, it’s more dialog and character driven in terms of delivery and pacing. History buffs will also be interested in this one.

Definitely recommend a viewing.

reviewed by Sean McKnight