After Captain Brandt (Courtney) is injured fighting in Poland during World War II, he is re-assigned to command the personal guard of the exiled Kaiser Wilhelm (Plummer). He quickly falls for housemaid Mieke (James), and learns of a plot by Allied agents to assassinate the Kaiser. Divided between his dedication to duty and country and his feelings for the maid, he tries to find a way to protect her and the Kaiser who is about to fall into a Nazi trap. By the end, he calls everything he’s been taught to believe into question.
2016, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 47 mins
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.39:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Lily James, Jai Courtney, Christopher Plummer
Directed by David Leveaux
The plot gets off to a slow start with a few stumbles and odd turns before turning into a decent WWII spy thriller. The story’s backdrop is loosely-based on truth and once the characters have established themselves, it becomes fairly interesting. The three principal actors manage to keep the movie’s head above water with their skill and believable chemistry. Christopher Plummer never seems to make a bad film and he is marvelous as Kaiser Wilhelm. He manages to portray him as a much more tolerant man than the real article, which suites the plot perfectly. Lily James as Mieke blends coyness and determination in equal measure. She’s certainly come a long way from her role as the impetuous teenager Rose in Downton Abbey. Jai Courtney plays the brooding German officer with appropriate roughness and a practiced hand. The bond between the three of them is completely believable and quickly takes the story to a satisfying end.
Image quality is a bit uneven, especially in the color department. Many interior scenes have an odd pink cast while outdoor material is mostly flat and lifeless. The color palette is nicely saturated though with solid contrast and good detail. Film grain sometimes overtakes the picture but noise is minimal for the most part.
The DTS-HD Master Audio encode is presented in a superb 5.1 configuration. The sub and surround channels are given plenty to do not just during the intense scenes but for ambient effects as well. Dialog is clear and detailed, and free of any chestiness or sibilance.
A single behind-the-scenes featurette is included along with audio commentary by director David Leveaux.