6 December 1999 | atroyz
GREAT FILM, but you've got to either learn German, or wait for the dubbed version.
First of all, WHY HAS THIS FILM NOT BEEN RELEASED IN ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES??!! Is it because Hollywood is afraid of German films that are actually as good as theirs? Is it because this is a foreign film that isn't "foreign" enough (e.g. Bergmanesque symbolism or Wender's "poetic imagery") or is it because neither America nor Britain have the nerve to properly dub this film into English? In any case, the world is missing out. This is a highly entertaining film with a simple plot, lots of humor, plenty of action, and two terrific leads. The plot, regardless of how many people will compare it to "pulp fiction" (a comparrison, by the way, which I simply cannot understand,)is a straight-forward buddy flick about two terminally ill men in their early thirties. Like all buddy movies, (Lethal Weapan, 48 hours, Nothing to lose) the characters couldn't be more different at the beginning, and find a way to get along by the films end. Nothing new here, except for the fact that both men know they will be dead by the film's end, thus eliminating (thank goodness) any chance of a sequel. Anyway, our heroes meet in the hospital, and quickly decide that they want to really "live" their final days on earth, and see the ocean before they pass away. They steal a car which happens to belong to a dutch gangster (brief cameo by rutger hauer). Thus begins the chase across Germany and Holland, a chase which combines road-movie laughs a-la Dumb and Dumber (there is a VERY similiar scene where the two men find the suitcase filled with money, and check into a rediculously fancy hotel) with genuine character development and bonding, a-la Thelma and Louise.
The real star of the film is not the plot, but the little moments of genuine humor and tenderness between the leads. Director Thomas Jahn's balance between over-the-top action-comedy and emotional "cancer drama" is amazingly played out by the two actors (til schweiger and jan josef liefers)
I would recommend this film to ANYBODY who likes to be entertained. The music is great, the jokes (most of them, at least) fly, and the relationships are genuine. The only problem is probably that at this point, you have to speak German fluently to understand most of what's going on. BUT BE PATIENT! Someday Hollywood will discover this film and at least SUBTITLE it like they did the equally terrific(er) "lola rennt". My only hope is that they don't simply ruin the film by remaking it with american stars. That would be a great letdown, because this film is already perfect. I doubt that most people would even think it's foreign, if they simply forget the subtitles and get into it.