Each year I check on what war movies are being planned for the future. Often there are movies that sound interesting on paper and I look forward to someday seeing them. As I look back over the years, many of those intriguing titles never made it into production. And some, unfortunately, did. This leads me to wonder two things: 1. Why do good movies not get made? 2. Why do bad movies get green-lighted? “Beyond Valkyrie” fits in the second category. It was directed by Claudio Fah. Remember that name. He’s going to be big someday. Or not. The movie went straight-to-video which still means that it got further than a bunch of the titles I had been looking forward to. Life is not fair.
The movie begins with a title card that informs us that Germany is losing the war, but the Nazis are stockpiling something in East Prussia. In England, “Operation Jedburgh” has the mission of going behind enemy lines to bring out a German officer who is part of Operation Valkyrie (the attempt on Hitler’s life). The movie is unclear about why they need this guy, but don’t worry about it - the script doesn’t. A below average CGI transport plane gets shot down and our four commandoes are on their own. They are led by Capt. Blackburn (Sean Patrick Flanery) and include a crusty sergeant played by Tom Sizemore. If you continue watching after Sizemore’s involvement in the movie, you are truly a war movie fan and/or a masochist. Either way, keep drinking.
Our quartet hooks up with four Soviets led by Maj. Kulkov (Pasha Lychnikoff). There is a Mexican standoff before the Allies bond. They are joined by a hot spy (actress Julie Engelbrecht in case you want to skip the movie and see just this scene) who gratuitously shows her breasts to assure us we are watching a straight-to-video movie. The band of brothers are trapped in a house by Nazis leading to a ridiculous shootout with the usual German mindless assaulters being mowed down. Think "Where Eagles Dare". Then it’s on to rescue the good Nazi while being chased by the evil Nazi. It all gets a bit redundant with prodigious expenditure of ammo. The German soldiers are worse shots than Imperial Stormtroopers.
“Beyond Valkyrie” is not the sequel to the Tom Cruise movie that you were hoping for. And this time they still don’t get Hitler. What we have here is the classic straight-to-DVD bait and switch involving a title. Of course, if you are fooled by the title, you get what you deserve. And that means terrible effects, terrible acting, terrible dialogue… you get the idea. Or I could have simply said you get Tom Sizemore.
GRADE = F