Nazis For Christmas?

Several months ago, I wrote about the upcoming Tom Cruise movie Valkyrie, which opens on Christmas Day. There's now a veritable blitzkrieg of advertising for the movie, both on television and on the Web. If the movie bombs, it won't be for lack of trying to get people to see it.

I'm still skeptical about the movie's prospects. Sure, people like to see a good action-suspense movie, but do they want to see one where both the heroes and villains are wearing Nazi uniforms? And even more importantly, do they want to see a movie where they already know going in that the hero fails? It would be like going to see a Lord of the Rings movie where Frodo fails to destroy the Ring, Sauron wins and Middle Earth is destroyed.

It's not that Americans don't respect a good try in a lost cause, even if it is some other nation's hero making the doomed attempt; Scotland's William Wallace in Braveheart would be a perfect example of such a movie hero, and that was a box office hit. But will they show up to see a movie in which the protagonists and the antagonists were both enemies of the United States? I'm guessing that they won't.