Valkyrie Review

901 words - 4 pages

Valkyrie (2008)
Directed by Brian Singer
Written by Christopher McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander
Starring Tom Cruise, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and Kenneth Branagh
Rated PG-13 for violence and brief strong language.

Story: Enlightened to the evil of Adolf Hitler, a battle tested German Colonel named Clause von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise), joins a group of fellow dissenters in an intricate plot to assassinate their Fuhrer.

Review: What is it that we’ve loved so much about the work of Brian Singer and Christopher McQuarrie? Well, together they’ve shown the ability to create interesting characters and weave a story that is both engaging and surprising. These tools, found most ...view middle of the document...

Because sure, we all know how Hitler’s fate is ultimately dealt. But there are still ways to get the audience invested in the characters and build some sort of tension. In this film, McQuarrie and Singer do their best to bring about said tension, but it still doesn’t feel like enough. The final act of their film is drawn out and incredibly anticlimactic, muddled by countless inconsequential scenes, many of which only extrapolate key plot points that have already been delivered. Do we really need to see five different conversations that just reiterate the same plan over and over again? Not really. And while there are certain repetitive elements, including one involving Germany’s national guard, it is clear that they are done for dramatic effect. And if you are an incredibly patient person, you might just be able to keep yourself entertained long enough to make it to the payoff, which isn’t much to write home about either.

Story aside, there is another issue with the German accents in the film. As you may remember, there have been countless discussions about the mostly British and American cast and their lack of German accents. Because after all, they are supposed to be Nazis. The film doesn’t completely dispense with the German dialect. In fact, it opens with Tom Cruise narrating in German, a narration that slowly morphs into English. From there we meet characters with all sorts of accents. The likes of Tom Wilkinson, Terrence Stamp and Bill Nighy choose to roll with their standard British accents. Carice van Houten, who actually speaks...

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