Dec 27, 2008

Valkyrie


Valkyrie is the latest big production from Hollywood hack Bryan Singer. Singer tried to scare us about the evils of Nazis with his laughably propagandistic film Apt Pupil. With Valkyrie, Singer takes us for a history lesson with a roman catholic Nazi colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and his plot to kill Hitler. Going into the film, you already know what is going to happen. Valkyrie is a mildly entertaining and sometimes thrilling film that somewhat attempts to martyr the conspirators that tried to take out uncle Herr Wolf at his private quarters via suitcase bomb.


The fact that Tom Cruise plays the lead role of Clause Von Stauffenberg is what attracted me to this film the most. Aside from being in a Nazi uniform, Cruise also sports an eye patch and a missing arm to boot! After hearing about Tom Cruise's life devotion to Scientology and his recent public religious outbursts, I expected to see a man who meant serious Hitler killing business. Unsurprisingly, Tom Cruise's megalomania of sorts makes his performance worth seeing. All jokes aside, Tom Cruise is still a guy that takes his acting performances seriously despite what people have to say on the contrary.


Apparently, many German film critics were offended by Cruise's performance in Valkyrie. German film critic Hanns-Georg Rodek of the German newspaper Die Welt stated of Cruise's performance, "He comes over best as an American hero, someone who battles for respect with aggression and energy. But Stauffenberg was a German hero, with aristocratic bearing, and Cruise cannot carry that off." Rodek’s statement is fair as America is hardly a country of “aristocrats” but more like third and fourth generation well off peasants. But then again, what American actor could play a German aristocrat well?


Being your typical arrogant and ignorant Hollywood production, Valkyrie lacks a certain authenticity that you come to expect from most World War II films. The most annoying thing being the variety of different “English” accents for these German Nazis. In all honesty, I didn’t expect to hear much German in the film as Americans hate (and for the most part maybe can’t?) read subtitles. Valkyrie features a variety of actors from around the world and even a handful from Germany. Some of the actors playing historical figures look ridiculous in comparison to the real-life individuals. I especially liked the vaudevillian looking man who played the sinister character of Joseph Goebbels.


Valkyrie
is not a beat down of postwar propaganda nor is it an amazing world war II epic. It is simply a film you watch to see your favorite actors dressed up in fancy Nazi uniforms. For anyone that liked the German Hitler bunker film Downfall, Valkyrie continues the tradition of new, big budget Nazi flicks. Also, Cruise's "Heil Hitler" salute with a nub for a arm is mandatory viewing. Hell, Valkyrie is also one of Hollywood’s closest attempts at morally redeeming any German citizens that lived during the Nazi era. Now that’s progress.


-Ty E

1 comment:

Balberith said...

Great review! I got dragged out to see this and knew what I was in for, but didn't think it was going to bite me in the ass as soon as the opening. Definitely Hollywood, and definitely bitter towards the movement. At least the outfits drenched some panties!

-Victoria