“Valkyrie” The Greatest Plan That Failed

Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Thriller, Biopic and War
Running Time: 2 hrs.
Release Date: December 25th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence and brief strong language.
Distributors: MGM Distribution Company

Director: Bryan Singer

JJ Rating: A-

Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) had started to decent in his mind over Hitler. He loses a hand, a few fingers and his eye and is reduced to either a fake eye or an eye patch. There was an underground group that had started brainstorming ways to remove Hitler from power. Colonel von Stauffenberg offered a better idea. Valkyrie.

It was the greatest plan to have never worked. Knowing that this was not how Hitler came to his demise made this difficult, because the plan was so well thought out that I had to keep reminding myself that it fails.

The mass appeal of this film is the story and how it was told more so than the acting (sans Tom Cruise). The story is the star. The actors all did a good job of moving the story along in a great way. I think Bryan Singer did a good job of telling the story simply and smoothly without delving too far into it dramatically. Meaning it was very fact and logic driven and less emotionally driven as it could have the potential to be.

I wonder how creepy it is to play Hitler one of the most hated men in all of history. Does it feel creepy? Or does it just feel like any other acting gig? I’m thinking that each character is like wearing clothing. Some characters are powerful to wear, while others make you feel dirty because of the their vileness. I wonder where playing Hitler stands. He was rather charming and well liked by so many people, that was up until the end of the war. Valkyrie happens a little under a year before the war was over. So Hitler was still in his charming phase and not quit to his lunatic stubborn phase. David Bamber did a good job of playing Hitler for the small amount of time he was on screen.

Tom Cruise does a good job. Tom Wilkinson does a great job because I hated him and in hating someone you know the actor is doing what needs to be done. Bill Nighly was also good with the silent fear and defeat he had in a few scenes. Great acting pulled off a great plan that eventually failed.

I think the one thing that Bryan Singer has a problem with when directing is getting the emotion across on screen. Something that would bring out the feeling of heart from the viewers as well as having the actors make it seem believable. He had this issue with X-Men (though I love the films) and Superman. He is able to tell a story but the story is just being told not felt beyond within ribcage.

One of the officers in Valkyrie make the comment that they want to prove that not all Germans were like him and I think they did a good job of proving it. That the Germany that Hitler was leading was not the true Germany. I think this film will be a film that is good for history class. Something that should have been taught in history already, but was not. There is so much they just skip over and I don’t understand why they’d skip over this important bit. Or, for that matter, the other failed attempts.

Valkyrie did what I had imagined it would do; tell a story. I enjoyed the story. Though I would have enjoyed to be invested a bit more in the heart I still liked it over all. I think that, for the most part, it was a very good film and most people will enjoy it should they think of it as a story worth knowing and not as a movie. Not everything in life is explosions and car chases. People want reality and when they get it they complain it’s not a good movie; ungrateful winches.

Valkyrie is a good film for those that enjoy history. It is not a good film for those that love Hitler. It is a movie that shows who had the balls and who didn’t and was more interested in saving their own skin than those of future generations. Valkyrie is as it should be a historical telling of an event that if it had gone as plan would have been the most ingenious plan in the 20th century.

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