3 January 2006 | jluis1984
Enjoyable, albeit a bit Hollywoodish
It's 1987 in Germany, and the social problems reach a point where there are constant riots and chaos. In the middle of this problems, a group of 6 radical anarchists created a bomb that never exploded... 12 years later the bomb explodes and all the clues point to them. Now they must reunite, and try to eliminate the proofs because now they have grown up, some have children, some have promising careers... and some got stunk in the past.
"Was tun, wenn's brennt?" is a very good movie by promising director Gregg Schnitzler that tells the story of this band of former radicals after 12 years of changes, social and personal. The movie flows at good pace, with good humor and feel-good attitude. Add to the mix an attractive young cast and you get this light comedy.
Probably, that is both its greatest attribute and its greatest flaw: the fact that it has a lot of potential for being a deep character study filled with dark humor, but instead chooses the way of being a light hearted comedy with an upbeat tone.
The movie has very good camera-work, although it has that Hollywoodish feeling that may turn some people away. Those "Hollywood" moments are what probably hurt the film the most, with clichéd scenes that distract us from the point for the sake of getting emotions.
Besides its light tone, the movie manages to deliver its message; past returns to burn you. While Tim (Til Schweiger) and Hotte (Martin Feifel) are still living in the past, the rest of the gang tries to forget it, and ultimately it returns to burn them.
The acting was actually better than expected, with Matthias Matschke as Terror, the former punk turned lawyer (!) stealing every scene he is in. Also, it is worth mentioning the appearance of Klaus Löwitsch as an old cop who still remembers those days before the fall of the wall.
Overall an enjoyable movie that despite its Hollywoodish tone (complete with feel-good ending), it manages to be fresh and more inventive that most Hollywood light comedies. It's definitely worth a rent. 7/10