Sunday, January 4, 2009

'Valkyrie' Entertaining, Decent

You've undoubtedly seen movies highlighting the atrocities of the German Nazis. Now, we have a movie shining the spotlight on the Germans who tried to stop one of history's most feared factions.

Tom Cruise tackles the role of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, a countryman who realizes the only way to restore Germany's reputation in the world is to assassinate the Fuhrer. Stauffenburg emerges from a role on the battle lines in North Africa (where he's seriously injured) to a position labeled as "the hope of Germany" by one character.

The movie doesn't focus on why the Nazis were bad for Germany; the film presumes you know that. Instead, it's all about a group of grave German's devising the battle plan to win their country back. Though a drama, the movie transforms into a thriller. Director Bryan Singer manages to keep moviegoers on the edge of their seats wondering what might happen next...when we all know what the outcome will be.

The rough patch in this movie for me was the emotional impact. Anyone who knows a little history knows someone dies when the Titanic sinks, not everyone's going to walk away from Pearl Harbor, and it won't end well for the Hitler conspirators. While I prefer the emotional impact of the other films, we instead received a rerun of the Last Samurai. In fact, you could probably confuse the two pictures at times if you listened instead of watching them.

That being said, you'll walk away with a good feeling....knowing that not everyone in Germany drank Hitler's Kool-Aid. And, there were at least 5 men were brave enough to do something about it.

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