(Valkyrie was provided to me by Click Communications for the purpose of review.)
In a country in the grips of evil, in a police state where every move is being watched, in a world where justice and honor have been subverted, a group of men hidden inside the highest reaches of power decide to take action. Based on the true story of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg and the daring and ingenious plot to eliminate one of the most evil tyrants the world has ever known.
A proud military man, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) is a loyal officer who serves his country all the while hoping that someone will find a way to stop Hitler before Europe and Germany are destroyed. Realizing that time is running out, he decides that he must take action himself and joins the German resistance. Armed with a cunning strategy to use Hitler’s own emergency plan – known as Operation Valkyrie – these men plot to assassinate the dictator and overthrow his Nazi government from the inside.
With everything in place, with the future of the world, the fate of millions and the lives of his wife and children hanging in the balance, von Stauffenberg is thrust from being one of many who oppose Hitler to the one who must kill Hitler himself.
Kevin and I have watched just about every World War II film made, since that is the era of history that fascinates both of us. Some are great, some are good, and some are just okay. Valkyrie falls into the middle group – it wasn’t amazing, but it was well-done and well worth watching because it’s based on a true story.
One of the things that has always horrified me when I study, read about, or watch movies about WW II, is the Germans who knew what Hitler was doing and either followed him anyway, or turned a blind eye. That’s one of the reasons that the story of Valkyrie is such an important one, and one that people should know. There were a significant number of people who realized that being loyal to Hitler and being loyal to Germany and humankind were two very different things. While their plot (obviously) does not succeed, the fact that there were high-ranking military officials willing to risk their career, honor, and very lives to defy the Fuhrer is heartening.
Because I already knew the outcome of the Valkyrie plot, I didn’t think this movie would be very riveting. I was wrong. The director masterfully created suspense, so that even though I knew their plot was doomed, I truly cared about these men and women, and was rooting for them to succeed. Recommended viewing.
Valkyrie is available now on DVD. The DVD special features include commentary by Tom Cruise, Bryan Singer, Nathan Alexander, and Christopher McQuarrie; Featurette: The Journey to Valkyrie; and Featurette: The Valkyrie Legacy.