Tom Cruise was supposedly drawn to the role of German Resistance hero Claus von Stauffenberg when he noticed how much he looks like the Nazi. (A similar motivation brought Ed Harris to Pollock, not to mention Tina Fey to Sarah Palin.) A side-by-side comparison confirms the likeness. It’s picayune, but Cruise, director Bryan Singer, and writer Christopher McQuarrie seem to have given us Valkyrie for little other reason than to make something that bears superficial resemblance to the last of fifteen in-house plots to assassinate Adolf Hitler. So they’ve followed the timeline, correctly parted the actors’ hair, eBayed Nazi insignia, made adequate overtures to historical accuracy, and in all matters gone through the motions of recreation. The result is fine, ordinary, and only feels so unnecessary because of the “crazy” Tom Cruise internet hype with which it unwittingly came bundled. Leaked images of Cruise as an eye-patched Nazi had some sensing a train wreck, or at least something particularly noteworthy, generating a nebulous kind of interest too outsized for the resultant straight-ahead thriller.
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