Comic book film adaptations recently have become very serious and respectable with The Dark Knight and Watchmen demonstrating that films based on comic books can possess a high degree of plausibility, complexity and human drama. So it is rather fun to get back to basics with the latest film from the X-Men franchise X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as it is good old-fashioned High Concept B-grade filmmaking. As the title of the film suggests, it is a prequel about the background of the popular Wolverine character (once again played very charismatically by Hugh Jackman), who has animal like instincts, the ability to heal almost instantly and deadly claw-like bones that protrude from between the knuckles of his hands. X-Men Origins: Wolverine reveals how Wolverine emotionally, mentally and physically becomes the character that he is when audiences first encountered him on the big screen in Bryan Singer’s 2000 film X-Men.
Audiences rarely see American films about the German perspective of World War II and Nazism. There is Lewis Milestone’s 1930 antiwar classic All Quiet on the Western Front but it is set during World War I. Sam Peckinpah’s brutal Cross of Iron (1977) shovels scorn upon the treatment of German soldiers by their careerist seniors and psychotic Nazi commanders, but it is a criminally underappreciated film that few people have seen. Valkyrie is hence an intriguing film for Hollywood to make because it is told from a German perspective and, like Cross of Iron, it sharply distinguishes the differences between members of the Nazi regime and the regular German army.