DVD Review: Tom Cruise’s Valkyrie (2008)

Tom Cruise in ValkyrieA lot of people shrugged off Valkyrie due to the presence of Tom Cruise, his American accent while portraying a German and the eye patch he wears throughout much of the picture. Then again, not that many people shrugged it off, as the Nazi film went on to make $200 million worldwide, proving that despite the star’s antics over the last few years, he is still a box office threat.

And while Valkyrie isn’t an amazing film by any means, it is a good one. Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men 2) has created an entertaining and exciting thriller about a group of German soldiers who attempt to assassinate Hitler and overthrow the Third Reich. Despite the fact that you know how it’s going to end (at least I sure as hell hope you do), it actually gathers strength as it approaches the climax.

Now out on DVD, Valkyrie doesn’t offer much in the way of bonus features, much to my reviewing pleasure. Two audio commentaries are included, one featuring Tom Cruise, Bryan Singer and Christopher McQuarrie, the other Christopher McQuarrie and Nathan Alexander. Of course, to watch the movie and listen to both commentaries, that’d mean you spend six waking hours on one film. Yikes.

For those who don’t have such patience or stamina, the only other bonus features are a rather bland making-of featurette called The Journey to Valkyrie, which offers your pretty standard fare of cast and crew interviews talking about how amazing their film is going to be., and a 45-minute documentary called The Valkyrie Legacy.

While Journey is relatively promotional in nature and offers little real value, The Valkyrie Legacy is an authentic documentary that explores the life and situations of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg. I’m hardly a WWII buff, but I do find the time period quite fascinating; the movie provides enough in-depth material to make it well worth a viewing.

The Valkyrie special features aren’t anything to scream home about, though the documentary is pretty interesting. Thankfully, the movie itself, “despite” starring Tom Cruise, is a worthy entry in your collection.

By Erik Samdahl
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