Monday, August 06, 2012

Old-Timey Reviews of 2 Tom Cruise Films: Valkyrie & Lions for Lambs

Valkyrie features Tom Cruise as star and producer of a true story about a group of German officers who made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Hitler and launch a government coup over Germany in order to spare the country a more merciful surrender pact with the Allied forces. Despite a few setbacks, Valkyrie is a well-crafted political thriller.
Chief among these setbacks is Tom Cruise, himself, which is somewhat of a disappointment because this man has taken a lot of beatings from the press and general public over the last couple of years and I'm usually one of his starch defenders. Cruise doesn't even attempt a German accent and doesn't really inject any personality into the role. It's ridiculously hard to suspend your disbelief and think you're watching anything other than some strange time travelling story of Tom Cruise playing himself inserted into 1944 Germany*. Fortunately, Cruise is surrounded by a really solid cast: Among others, Bill Nighy, Terrence Stamp (My Boss' Daughter, Get Smart), and Tom Wilkinson, fresh off his amazing performance in Michael Clayton last year. Wilkinson's character as a top general with loyalties to Hitler could have been someone you could have built an entire movie around.

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