By Guest-writer Joanna Lee
Last Monday, I had a chance to catch the sneak preview of the highly anticipated Tom Cruise movie, Valkyrie. Opening to the public on Christmas Day, Valkyrie is based on true events, which took place in Nazi Germany during World War II. The movie is a historical thriller about the last of 15 failed attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Cruise plays Claus von Stauffenberg, the leader of a group of Nazi officers who lead the assassination plot. Numerous people were involved in the attempt against the Nazi leader, and the film also features Kenneth Branagh (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Hamlet), Bill Nighy (Pirates of the Caribbean, Hot Fuzz), Terence Stamp (Wanted, Get Smart, Elektra) and Tom Wilkinson (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Michael Clayton).
When I arrived at the theatre, there was already a long line outside of eager and avid Tom-Cruise fans, and moviegoers in general. More tickets than the at-capacity limit had been handed out for the sneak preview and many people were turned away. I was one of the lucky ones who made it inside, and found excellent seating for the movie. Not knowing what the movie was about (except that Tom Cruise was in it!), I found time to pass by very quickly as I found the movie absolutely enthralling. Perhaps it was my interest in history or thrillers, or historical thrillers. Or maybe it was because of Cruise (and him sporting an eyepatch). Whatever the reason, I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire film.
So what did I not like about the movie? The movie begins with Cruise’s character narrating in a German accent. I was curious to see how the actor would fare in having to combining his Yank with German accents throughout the entire movie. After the first ten minutes or so and for the rest of the film, Cruise’s character speaks in an American accent. It was disappointing since it made the historical film less realistic, and more ‘Hollywood’ instead.
Since seeing Valkyrie, I have read many mixed reviews about the film. It has received many modest but good reviews, as well as reviews indicating it is slated to win some Razzies, awards that recognize the worst Hollywood films. While Cruise fans will love Valkyrie for his portrayal of the aristocratic, handsome German colonel, it will be interesting to see how the general audience handles his performance.
Click here to watch the movie trailers.