The year is 1944 and a group of Germany officials and military officers, all of whom are secretly opposed to the Nazi regime, are plotting to assassinate Adolf Hitler. A group of American and British operatives, led by Captain Evan Blackburn (Sean Patrick Flannery), have been dropped behind enemy lines. Their mission is to protect the man who has been chosen to lead Germany after Hitler’s death but, after the assassination fails, Blackburn and his men find themselves with a new mission. Working with a group of Russian soldiers, Blackburn tries to prevent a group of Nazis from fleeing to Argentina with a cache of stolen good.
The plot of Beyond Valkyrie is rooted in fact. In June of 1944, Hitler was nearly assassinated by a group of high-ranking Germans who hoped to replace him with a more moderate leader. (Historically, it’s questionable whether the majority of the conspirators were truly anti-Nazi or if they just felt that Hitler was mismanaging the war.) At the same time, as it became evident that Germany was going to lose the war, many Nazi war criminals did escape to Argentina, where the government of Juan Peron provided them with sanctuary from prosecution. Some of the most notorious Nazis reinvented themselves as businessmen in both South America and the Middle East. (Others, like Klaus Barbie and Reinhard Gehlen, offered their services to any government that would accept them.)
The true story is so interesting that it’s unfortunate that Beyond Valkyrie is such a bad movie. Basically, consider it to be Inglourious Basterds with none of Tarantino’s style or Christoph Waltz’s smiling menace. Beyond Valkyrie is a war epic on a budget, a very low budget. Neither the weak script nor the cheap-looking CGI does much to add authenticity to the movie. There are a few familiar faces in the cast, though none of them are onscreen for long. Rutger Hauer provides what little dignity Beyond Valkyrie has. Tom Sizemore looks like he’s still recovering from the weekend. Stephen Lang picks up his paycheck. Sean Patrick Flanery does the best he can but he’s stuck with all the worst lines.
One final note: One of the Russian soldiers, played by Andrew Byron, is actually named Tolstoy. I waited for Chekhov, Solzhenitsyn, and Dostoevsky to show up but they never came.