Valkyrie (Bryan Singer) 2008

Based on the actual assassination attempt on Hitler by several high level politicians and military officers.  If its one thing I can give Singer credit for its that we know that the attempt fails and yet there is still a glimmer of hope that it could have succeeded.  Valkyrie is set up like a heist thriller where most of the movie is the planning and the build up of tension and the eventual execution of the plan.

One of the problems might be that all there is to Valkyrie is planning.  I learn absolutely nothing about Stauffenberg or any of the other collaborators.  We bypass everything about how these people found each other or what these people are really like.  Its just “We need to kill Hitler!” and off we go.  I can understand a need to streamline the running time, but I need just a tad more than that.

The plot is well done and has a good amount of tension, but I feel Singer dropped the ball in one regard.  There should be an overwhelming feeling of paranoia of being discovered by the SS.  There should be a feeling that anyone could betray the whole team or that there are spies everywhere.  Yet it seems like Stauffenberg could go anywhere and talk with anyone about wanting to blow up Hitler.  In fact one scene, Stauffenberg begins a conversation with a Lieutenant he just meets that he is a traitor and is planning a coup and asks him if he feels the same way.  You’re lucky Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS wasn’t listening.

I’m not going to jump on the bash Tom bandwagon for this movie.  He does an alright job as Stauffenberg although all he really has to do is stand there and look determined.  There aren’t many scenes that require him to really act that much.  The ensemble cast works rather well together and is one of the good points.

On the whole, Valkyrie is an okay thriller but is rather forgettable.  Especially in December, there are plenty of better movies that are worth your time and attention.  It might be more suitable for a rental.  Its aiight, but nothing more.


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