While there are a zillion World War II movies out there already, I kept an open mind going into the Tom Cruise star vehicle Valkyrie.
While there are a zillion World War II movies out there already, I kept an open mind going into the Tom Cruise star vehicle Valkyrie. Sure, this is a movie that has been dogged by bad press from start to finish (even due, in part, to the fact that Cruise is a Scientologist) but I can see that there is a fascinating movie to be made out of a German resistance movement involving Nazi officers in Adolf Hitler's inner circle.
High-ranking, aristocratic officers attempting to assassinate Hitler? There's so much to explore here! Were these men heroes? Or was it a desperate and calculated power grab when it was clear the Germans were losing the war? What did these men know about the mass murders of Jews that had taken place and when did they know it? Did any of them, including Claus von Stauffenberg (Cruise) who led one of the most daring plots to kill Hitler, have a genuine crisis of conscience? And if so, what does that kind of moral awakening look like?
In a war that is often depicted very starkly as good vs. evil, within the German rank and file there were shades of gray and this makes for interesting psychological thriller fodder for sure. So why did Cruise and director Bryan Singer forego that kind of film in favor of a totally reductive, shallow, glossy, big-budget flick that will leave you feeling underwhelmed and a little icky because you just spent over an hour rooting for Nazis? I really don't know, but let's talk about it. Just read more