30 May 2018 | richardgeuter
Entirely unnecessary remake
"Steig. Nicht. Aus!" is a remake of the Spanish thriller "El desconocido" (or known in the USA under its equally non-specific title "Redemption"), and as the older movie is currently on Netflix in my region and I like to compare different adaptations of the same story, I watched the Spanish film before going into the German update.
So, having seen the same story a couple days prior, my problem with "Steig. Nicht. Aus!" wasn't as much that it was terribly made (it's at least more watchable than most movies I would give 3 stars), it's that the movie gave me nothing new that I didn't already get out of "Desconocido". In fact, some aspects of the remake are a few steps below the original.
Take, for example, the opening scene, which is the only scene that writer-director Christian Alvart doesn't lift from the Spanish version: Our main character talks to a strange woman on a plane about his fear of flying, which stems from his not being able to just step the vehicle and get out. Get it? Because he won't be able to get out of his car either, once the film stars proper. Foreshadowing!
The opening scene quickly morphs into the that of "El desconocido," and from that point onwards Christian Alvart's script is little more than a German translation of that movie's script. This practice of making the same movie again in a different language is very irritating to me, because the experience of watching this movie can be almost completely replaced by watching an earlier movie - and one that is much better made.
Much of this movie revolves around main actor Wotan Wilke Möhring sitting in a car and talking to people on his phone. Sadly, he is no Tom Hardy (or "Desconocido"-star Luis Tosar, for that matter). He alternately under- or overacts, leading to some unintentionally funny moments. Luis Tosar in "El desconocido" was able to portray different levels of concern and panic, slowly growing more stressed as the film went on. Möhring just gets rid of every emotion that isn't extreme anger or slight uncomfortableness.
The direction is equally unsubtle, with many cheesy zooms in Möhring's face when he is in beast-mode. The music is also quite overbearing, at least in the beginning. The supporting actors do a good job, and the film is overall probably quite watchable if you've got nothing better to do with your evening. If you have the choice between this and its predecessor, I would strongly advise you to watch the other one, though.