1 November 2010 | imperiallover
A Tremendoulsy Overlooked And Underrated German Comedy
At first glance, one could think the movie just unashamedly copies the stereotypical Hollywood gangster movie. But nothing could be further from the truth. The film is a total persiflage on the genre, setting a typical and deliberately shallow plot into Germany's industrial heartland - the Ruhr area. There it is staged with loads of local colour and bizarre details not necessarily related to the actual plot, the latter obviously 'borrowed' from Takashi Miike movies.
Der Eisbär not only holds its own when it comes to gangster flicks, it's a standout. Rarely has a movie taken on the genre and rendered it what it really is in all its ridiculousness. The love for details is extraordinary and the situational humour spot on, but not as overdone as it often is the case in American productions.
Add to this supporting roles filled with the who is who of the German film and entertainment industry, most notable an -as usual- brilliant Juergen Tarrach as the bomb constructor, Ralph Herforth and Ralf Richter as undercover cops, comedian Tom Gerhardt as the manager of the fast food restaurant, and character actress and internationally acclaimed director Katharina Thalbach in a tiny appearance, sleeping off her intoxication in the "Pauls Eck" pub during the final stand-off.
Der Eisbär is a masterpiece. Totally misunderstood by many, it has acquired a cult following among the ones in the know.