Schimanski (1997–2013)

Loverboy (10 Nov. 2013)

TV Episode   |    |  Crime


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17 November 2014 | t_atzmueller
| A welcome nostalgia-trip to a time when German TV-Thrillers were still watchable
Schimanski (Götz George), long retired from the police-force, is contacted by an old acquaintance, the jailed Russian gangster Kaijewski (Martin Kaijewski). Kaijewski fears for the safety of his estranged daughter Jessica (Muriel Wimmer), who has gone missing after having fallen for a so-called "Loverboy", a particularly insidious type of pimp, who target teenage girls and virtually mentally enslave them with the lure of love and drugs. Schimanski travels to The Netherlands, where he hopes to find the girl with the help of Susanne (Anne Loos), whose daughter has also fallen into the clutches of a "Loverboy". They find the girls in the redlight-district of Rotterdam, but soon discover that finding the girls was way easier than to save them.

This may well be the final "Schimanski"-Film, considering that actor Götz George was 75 years old at the time of the shooting. Not only his very variable acting skill gave George the reputation of "Germany's answer to Sean Connery" but also the fact that at 75 George is still in better shape than many man half his age and looks no older than 50. Sure, Schimanski complaining about his age and not being able to compete physically with younger men is a running gag of this episode, yet George still looks remarkably fit. To his credit must also be said: unlike fading action stars of his period, say, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone, George does not event try to pretend that he's "as good as new", but rather shows the limitations of his age, instead concentrating what he still can do: He still has a big mouth, can still intimidate potential witnesses and gangster with his sheer presence and remains a hardcore proletarian with a golden heart. That makes his figure so endearing and not (like most films of above mentioned has-beens) embarrassing.

Despite the movie featuring the usual routine, yet pleasant mix between police-, detective- and action-film, the basic storyline is the weakest link. For one, the story of the "Loverboys" have been haunting the German media for quiet a while. The boulevard-media, mind you (it's probably an invention of this insidious media-troll known as "Bild"), yet the producers built upon this artificial urban-legend as if it was an undeniable fact. That reduces the teenage-victims to the intelligence-level of a pound of salt (and the actresses have to play accordingly). That caused many viewers to contemplate, why the parents would seek those girls in the first place and wouldn't they be rather grateful for having been relieved to have the burden of those numskulls removed from their shoulders? Still, it is good to see Schimanski (and for once Chiem "Hänschen" van Houweninge, one of the last remaining actors from the 'golden days') reunited for what may well be the last time. It's almost like seeing an old uncle, whom one hasn't seen in years but who still looks very fit for his age. A welcome change for viewers; especially those from the older generation, who generally have little love for contemporary TV-Thrillers.


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