Valkyrie (2008)

I’m a soldier, but in serving my country, I have betrayed my conscience.

— Col. Claus von Stauffenberg

Since Tom Cruise is the latest person to be in the LAMB Acting School 101 this month, I thought I would revisit a movie that was largely dismissed WWII drama, Valkyrie. There was a lot bad buzz around this movie with the numerous release date changes and even the possibly of changing the title of movie. A movie about killing Hitler, it’s a no-brainer about what the ending is. This movie is something different to offer about the SS.

The film starting in North Africa during the last years of the war where Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Cruise) is conflicted with serving his country and standing up to the atrocities of what Hitler has done to Jews and his people. He is tries to find somebody that would rise up against the Third Reich. Just then his unit is attacked by the Allied forces.

Losing two fingers in his left hand, left eye and right hand entirely, Stauffenburg is held up in a Munich hospital where he is visited by his wife, Nina (Carice van Houten). He has to return to Berlin to await further instruction from the Fürher (David Bamber).

Meanwhile, there have already been plots to assassinated Hitler mainly with Major-General Henning von Tresckow (Kenneth Branagh) trying to kill Hitler with a bomb that did not go off on the plane with him or Colonel Heinz Brandt (Tom Hollander) who unknowingly carried the package into the plan in the first place. After he botched attempt, Treschow returns to High Command to get it back. Tresckow’s co-conspirator, General Friedrich Olbricht (Bill Nighy) lets him know that their plan might be exposed when another defector is arrested. They would need another person to lead the uprising.

When Stauffenberg comes back to Berlin, he is recruited by Olbricht to lead the resistance. Stauffenberg is surprised that many people want to overthrow their tyrannical leader like Ludwig Beck (Terence Stamp) who tries to find a way to destroy Hitler from the inside out.

Stauffenberg suggests that somebody should infiltrate Hitler’s inner circle. He also suggests that they initiate Operation Valkyrie, which is a plan for when Hitler is dead; the reserved army would be active to help with civil unrest. They want to stage a fake coup to arrest the SS soldiers that take over the government. As Beck said in one conversation, “This is the military. Nothing ever goes according to plan.” Truer words were ever spoken.

The rest of the movie chronicles the failed attempt to kill Hitler. This is history. Everyone knows that Hitler didn’t die until 1945. Knowing the end of the movie was a bit anti-climatic. The movie is not awful. It got a bad rap for something that was the studio’s fault.

Hearing Tom Cruise in his Americanized German dialogue was very distracting to me, except for the guy, Christian Berkel playing Colonel Mertz von Quirnheim. Was he in the same movie? He did dinner theater level acting. Just god-awful. Hearing everybody’s British accents and the lone American – Cruise – made me think that these guys were playing Nazi dress up. I couldn’t buy it all the way. At least, have some slight German accents. Oh, well.

Judgment: What’s the point? Hitler doesn’t die at the end. Oh, spoiler. Sorry.

Rating: **1/2

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About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on June 22, 2010, in 2008, Drama, LAMB Acting School 101, Meme, Nazi, War and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I find it interesting that British is always a subsitute for any foreign language in Hollywood. Nice write-up, anyway.

    • I know right. What’s up with that? I think it was the same thing in “The Last Station”, even thought I didn’t nor want to see it. The family was supposed to be Russian and they were miraculously British.

  2. I saw this a few months ago and it just was so forgettable that I did not even bother writing a review. Nothing terrible and it’s worth a watch but as you said, the acting was borderline amateurish at times and knowing the ending as well as most of the details of the attack from the start makes the movie completely un-suspenseful.

  3. Totally agree – the accents through me. I thought it was a terrible film – totally forgettable, poorly paced, and the Hollywoodized version of what were important events sullied the memories of such brave souls.

    • I didn’t think that the movie was awful, Dan. You are left with the question, what is the point of making it in the first place?

  4. I wanted this film to be great, unfortunately it was only, meh. It was the first movie I watched in Blu Ray, and I have to say the visuals and color choices in the film made it quite exciting for me to watch.

    By the way, I like the new layout.

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