Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Movie review: Valkyrie

After being seriously wounded in battle, Stauffenberg becomes disenchanted with the war and joins a resistance movement focused on killing Hitler. As the situation degrades Stauffenberg finds himself charged with leading the coup as well as personally killing Hitler.

Tom Cruise (Stauffenberg), Kenneth Branagh (Tresckow), Bill Nighy (Olbricht), Tom Wilkinson (Fromm), Terence Stamp (Beck), David Bamber (Hitler).

This is a very detailed plot that follows constantly changing requirements of the plan to kill Hitler and take over the German military. There are some action scenes but they are minor compared to the emotional component evoked by the fears and risks of the main resistance members. At times the plot felt slow but this being an intricate drama, the slow moments were required for plot and character development. Knowing the plot didn’t succeed made for a lack of suspense around the ending of the film but the detailed journey was worth it.

Cruise did a good job but was somewhat bland and overshadowed repeatedly by the supporting cast. Nighy was wonderful in his role, making us love to hate him before the movie was over. Wilkinson and Stamp also did well while Bamber did a nice job as Hitler.

Special effects were minimal but well done. The film did well at evoking the feel of Germany during the war. Sets, background, sound, dialogue and camera work were all nicely done and it would appear the film had a fair sized budget.

Overall this was a decent military drama and it was nice to learn something, even if dramatized, about history and the plots to kill Hitler. Don’t mistake this for a military action film when it is actually a military drama with intellectual consideration being the key to enjoyment.

Some violence and foul language so save this for teens and above, though I would guess that older adults will enjoy this most with younger viewers losing interest.

Released: 2008
Reviewed: 7.1.17
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Drama, Military Drama, Espionage Thriller, History

copyright ©2017 Dave Riedel

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