See that? See that up there? Thats proof. Proof that all the Nazis were, in fact, British. Not one German amoung them. I know, I feel kinda stoopid too for not already knowing that. I thought that Nazi Germany was run by German Nazis, but nein, this was not the case. Amoung the scary Nazis are comedian Eddie Izzard, cuddly Tom Wilkinson, theatre loving Kenneth Branagh, wash-up Terrence Stamp, desert-dry Stephen Fry, that guy Bill Nighy and the relative unknown David Bamber playing Hitler himself! Hitler was British too?! Ich bin mucho exasperated!
But amoung all these tea-sipping Aryans are Tom Cruise playing the one-eyed (hence the cool-as-all-get-out patch) Colonel Claus Von Stauffenberg. Wondering why you’ve never heard of this particular war hero? Two reasons; (1) who is going to remember a name that SpellCheck destroying?, and (2) His plan to kill Hitler failed, and history doesn’t fail to fail to remember failures like that. But cinema is more forgiving, so CCVS, as we shall forever be abbreviating him too, gets a second chance at fame, even if it is posthumous, and therefore, of not much use to him.
Bringing this sort-of-epic to the big screen is Bryan Singer, director of what the trailer so proudly announces, the vaguely related Usual Suspects, and the in no way what whatsoever related X-Men and Superman Returns. The film itself has run into a fair share of troubles, what with initial rumours of lack of permission to shoot in Germany due to Cruise’s religious beliefs, and then additional reshoots needed when some of the original film was accidentally placed in acidic liquid. And it was originally due for a March release this year, but has been pushed back to October/November, appearantly due to it being possible Oscar bait.
It all looks very nice, well acted, blah blah blah….. But is this the first film that will be shot in an almost constant state of whispering? Obviously intrigue, deception and assassination plots lend themselves to hushed voices, but if the person next to you in the cinema so much as takes a sip of their drink, they may have drowned out several lines of plot-heavy dialogue.
But on the plus side, Cruise looks a shoo-in for another attempt at the Oscar, but most likely failing at the last minute. Which obviously lends itself to the similarities to the character he’s playing. CCVS works on so many levels……