Valkyrie (DVD)

Cruise control…

Tom Cruise usually plays one of two roles; either he is cutting loose, having fun and not giving a damn (such as in Mission Impossible or his scene-stealing cameo in Tropic Thunder) or he is intense, focused and doing a lot of jaw clenching (Minority Report, say, or Lions for Lambs). It’s safe to say that Valkyrie well and truly belongs in the second camp, being as it is a deathly serious dramatisation of German Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg’s unsuccessful assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler during the dying days of World War II. Aided and abetted by a variety of sympathisers, including General Olbricht (Bill Nighy), General Fellgiebel (Eddie Izzard) and Ludwig Beck (Terence Stamp), Stauffenberg hatches a plan to assassinate Hitler (David Bamber), so initiating Operation Valkyrie in which the army would be able to seize control of Berlin and broker a peace with the Allies.

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