Valkyrie

First Hit: This is an interesting story and it could have been made into a more interesting film.

Tom Cruise is one of those actors where his own personality and public persona often overrides his ability to play a role and act within a character.

In this film he plays Colonel Claus van Stauffenberg a German soldier who believes that Hitler is off track and needs to be removed from power.

But no matter how Cruise acts, I’m watching Tom Cruise pretending to be someone else (see my review of Doubt to note the difference). Early in the film his group of soldiers is attacked and, in this attack, Stauffenberg loses most of one arm, some fingers from his other remaining hand and one of his eyes. He gets shipped to Berlin and hooks up with others who feel that Hitler needs to be replaced.

Through his intense single-mindedness (this is how Cruise acts in all his films) he crafts the plan to assassinate Hitler.

One of the best parts of the film is when he is ordered to give the Heil Hitler salute and he thrusts is partial arm out of his uniform sleeve and shouts “Heil Hitler”.

One of the unnerving things about this film is that all of the lead actors have a different accent. Granted having actors speak English allows the film to have a wider audience but here we have Germans portrayed by Americans, English and German actors all speaking their version of English and none of the accents match. Odd at first and then I just quit letting it bother me.

Overall: The story was very interesting and one I didn’t know anything about, but I couldn’t help but think with a different director and set of actors it might have been a much better film.