Valkyrie is the story of Claus Von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise), a german soldier in World War II who attempted the most nearly-successful of the many attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler. The film is directed by Bryan Singer, who is also responsible for classic thrillers like Apt Pupil and The Usual Suspects. Singer brings with him his usual crew, including editor John Ottman, screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie and cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel, all of whom also worked on the previous mentioned thrillers.
The film succeeds as a thriller, and has been described as “a thriller set during World War Two, rather than a war film” – and it is worth seeing for anyone who is a fan of Singer’s directorial style or Cruises’ acting, but there is one issue with Cruises’ performance that is hard to overlook, namely his lack of an accent.
It feels a little too much like Tom Cruise pretending to be a german soldier and resistance leader rather than Tom Cruise playing the roleand acting the part of a german solider and resistance leader. Otherwise, Valkyrie is worth two hours of your time. It does not thrill quite on the level of The Usual Suspects, but the editing and the tension that it creates make it an experience you are not likely to soon forget.
This author strongly recommends seeing The Usual Suspectsfirst, as it is still Singer’s opus, and its cutting style and unbelievable tension will prepare you for the faster moving, less forgiving style of this film.