Posts Tagged ‘Valkyrie’

Valkyrie (Film, Review)

April 21, 2009

Rating: B

(I was cleaning out my “drafts” folder and realized I never posted this)

A friend of mine and I joked that there are probably a bunch of people who are going to see the movie Valkyrie and think that Hitler is going to die.  I’m sure that most reviews will comment on this (and Eddie Izzard even made this remark on Conan).

But here’s the thing.  There is indeed a moment, several actually, in the film where you’re watching and you think, ‘Holy cr*p!  They’re actually gonna pull it off!  They’re gonna kill Hitler.

And that’s the thing, right? When you can suspend belief on something that the audience knows did not happen…well, then you’re making a damn good suspense thriller.

Christopher McQuarrie and Bryan Singer are masters at pacing.  They know how to build to it.  When to back away from it.  What tricks to pull out and when (and I say “tricks” in a good way).

Which is why, from a pure mechanics standpoint, this film is a suspenseful film that’s worth seeing.

Add to that the acting was solid all around the room.  Tom Cruise is great.  The rest of the cast are fantastic.  One of the reasons I enjoyed this film is that entire cast was solid.  Every single one of the principles were heavyweight actors who could share the screen and not overpower their peers all the while, the minor characters – von Stauffenberg’s personal aide in particular – were actors who felt like they belonged even though you might not know their names.

On a more personal note, as a Jew I thought the film did a very good job of showing a Germany divided and the filmmakers did a good job in placing emphasis on the fact that not all Germans were loyal to Hitler and his Nazi party.

Bryan Singer and Tom Cruise did a service for Germany by making sure that audiences understood that not everyone at that time agreed with the atrocities Hitler was committing in the name of his country.  Not to get political, but it’s always worth noting that not everything is black & white.

Oh, and since we’re on the subject of killing Hitler, it’s worth mentioning one of my favorite comic books, “I Killed Adolf Hitler” by Jason.  It makes a nice ‘chaser’ to Valkyrie.

I will also add that the actress who plays Nina von Straffenberg, Carice van Houten, is in another WW II movie called Black Book.  Black Book is an excellent film (and I should probably put a review of it up at some point) and she does an amazing job in both performances.