Movie Review Rewind: Valkyrie (2008)
Valkyrie is the first movie Tom Cruise stars in since sharing the screen with Robert Redford and Meryl Streep in Lions for Lambs. He chose a good film to be in this year. The film focuses on Cruise’s character Colonel Claus van Stauffenberg, who joins the German Resistance to form Operation Valkyrie—a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler and set in motion a shadow government to overthrow Hitler’s Germany. Bryan Singer directs this film, which is a different genre for him. He is most famous for directing Unusual Suspects, X-Men, and Superman Returns. But he makes the transition perfectly.
One choice Singer makes is very interesting to me, and I have never seen a filmmaker do this before. It takes place in Germany and the film starts with Tom Cruise’s character speaking German, but transfers over to English. Basically, so the whole movie would not be in subtitles. This is why in the previews they speak English, but actually are speaking German. Bryan Singer made it easier for the audience and perhaps even the actors.
Tom Cruise is joined by Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, and Kenneth Branagh. They all play important characters that make this film so good. Cruise is a good actor. I do not care how he acts in his personal life. When he makes a movie, he gives it his best. In this one, his character is missing an eye, a hand, and some fingers on the other hand that survived.
This is a story that I did not read in history classes. I never knew that some Germans did not agree with what Hitler was doing. They are all lumped together as Hitler’s Germany. But they wanted to be a part of Sacred Germany…not Hitler’s. The German Resistance wanted to show that there are Germans fighting against Hitler and want him dead as well. They wanted to be different and they were. Now most of us know how Hitler died, so we know this operation fails. But it is interesting and entertaining to see the journey these few men made to try and save their country from evil. And they almost did.
“Nature Boy” Brandon Vick is the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter@SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.