Review: Cruise in ‘Valkyrie’ das ‘Risky Business’

Tom Cruise, center, stars as Claus von Stauffenberg, a colonel who attempts to kill Nazi Party leader, Adolf Hitler. PHOTO COURTESY OF UNITED ARTISTS
Tom Cruise, center, stars as Claus von Stauffenberg, a colonel who attempts to kill Nazi Party leader, Adolf Hitler. PHOTO COURTESY OF UNITED ARTISTS

By Jessica Luthi
Editor in Chief

Every year Hollywood hopes to create the next blockbuster hit.

Unfortunately, “Valkyrie” falls short of being a hit, let alone a blockbuster. Despite its star-studded cast it lacks believability and intensity.

Tom Cruise plays the would-be Hitler assassin Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg who, along with co-conspirators General Olbricht (Bill Nighy), Major-General Tresckow (Kenneth Branagh), Colonel Quirnheim (Christian Berkel), and General Fellgiebel, played by the ever-funny Eddie Izzard, attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler. But, as we know from history, the Führer committed suicide.

Their plan was simple: Kill Hitler, use the Reserve Army to take control of Berlin and install a new government to end the war.

Operation Valkyrie was a plan originally put into place by Hitler if he bit the bullet. It meant to mobilize the Reserve Army in case of an uprising from German-occupied countries or Allied forces disrupted the German law and order.

While this film isn’t necessarily Oscar-winning material, the story itself is amazing: Stauffenberg revised the plan to use the Reserve Army to capture officers of the SS, Gestapo and the Nazi party. The Reserve Army was to stage a coup, which the army was supposed to be mobilized against.

The biggest problem with this movie are the actor’s accents. It would have been okay if all of them spoke in the same manner, but this in not the case. Cruise speaks in his normal American accent but his British colleague, speak in their respective accents. This can be a little distracting and makes it hard to be convinced that this really happened.

“Valkyrie” isn’t a horrible film, it’s the film’s leading man who poses the problem. Cruise has acted in good and bad films – this is definitely the latter. His lack of intensity and conviction takes away from the film. Despite Cruise’s striking resemblence to Stauffenberg, Cruise makes it hard to see the real colonel.

My advice: save yourself $10 and two hours of your life.

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