As this year, already the fourth "Fünf Freunde" movie hits cinemas, I would like to review the very first from the bunch. It is directed by Mike Marzuk and written by Klehmet and Wehling based on the Enyd Blyton books. All this also applies to films 2-4, in between there was always only roughly a one year break. Seems like they want to rush as many films as possible. And for good reason as the films steadily grew in audience numbers. 3 was more successful than 2 and 2 was more successful than 1. We will see if the newest film can top the third movie in terms of box office again as well. The director and writer duo all returned to work together on these movies and same goes for the kids. Eisenbart ("The Door", "Wickie") had the most acting experience from the quartet before the film. Oettl and Schlingensiepen had some experience too, also already appeared in the same film before this franchise and only Nickel was a complete newcomer to acting roles.
Now, maybe you recognized I only mentioned 4, but the titles says five friends. That is right. Number 5 is their dog Timmy. This first film is about Eisenbart's character becoming friends with the other three, her cousins. She initially is not interested in them at all, but they grow closer quickly as they go on an adventure together. Initially, only Timmy is a friend to George. What I did like was that it was very easy to quickly make a connection with each of the kids. It also helped a lot that it was not difficult at all to keep them apart and see who is who, not only because of their looks but also because of their behavior. A crucial difference in this film compared to the other movies is how we do not know who the antagonist is until very late. In the other films, it's clear right away, but here it could be a special agent, wildlife cameramen (M'Barek and Höfels reunited in "Fack ju Göhte") or even police officers and my guess that it would be Anatole Taubman's character was very wrong. I liked that inclusion of suspicion.
And of course, there is also a story on friendship. The next films are about a new kid bonding with the 4 other kids and here this new kid is Eisenbart's character. There are only very few things that I did not like, for example how the dog immediately listens to all of the kids although it knows all except George only for a very short time. But these are just minor flaws and it's nonetheless great to watch this beautiful dog help the gang. The music and songs did not really impress me either. There was two interesting scenes which depicted that George is really not a usual girl like Anne. When Anne gets her hand on a gun she quickly throws it out of a window, but when George gets it, she points it right at the bad guys like a boy would. Fearlessly.
All in all, I recommend this film. I liked it more than the second film and about as much as the third film which is also pretty good. Children films from Germany (usually based on novels) are really booming in Germany right now and "Fünf Freunde" is a good watch for everybody still young at heart.