Starring: Tom Cruise, Bill Nighy

Tom Cruise has made some bold choices lately when it comes to the roles he has chosen.

Following his foul-mouthed, hairy-armed performance in Tropic Thunder, the star risks alienating fans by joining the ranks of the Nazis in war-drama Valkyrie.

It’s a gamble that doesn’t really pay off.

Despite a strong supporting cast and an acclaimed director in Bryan Singer, Valkyrie ends up being disappointingly average, despite some extraordinary source material.

Based on true events, the film is set in the early to mid 1940s — a time when officers within the Nazi regime was trying to get rid of Adolf Hitler and bring an end to the Second World War.

One such individual is Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Cruise, looking out of place), who devises a plan to blow up the Fuhrer in his ‘Wolf’s Layer’.

With the help of other members of the resistance — played by a host of superb British actors including Bill Nighy, Terence Stamp and Kenneth Branagh —the daring operation Valkyrie is set in motion.

Despite the fact that most of us know whether the plot was successful or not, Singer still manages to ratchet up the tension and the planting of the bomb and subsequent fall-out is well put together.

The problem with Valkyrie is that very little time is spent on character development.

So, while it is easy to admire the bravery of Von Stauffenberg and his allies, it’s difficult to truly care about a bunch of characters we hardly know.

Nice idea, poor execution. PIERRE DE VILLIERS