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Heio von Stetten
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Why you should never let your stunt team provide a storyline...
One of the first episodes of Cobra 11 I can reminisce, featured a police car hitting an anchor hanging down a bridge over the Autobahn. It's still one of the best stunts I've ever seen.
"Alarm für Cobra 11 - Die Autobahnpolizei" is a typical German 'krimi' (whodunnit), with a bit more action involved. Truckloads of cars are scrapped in various action scenes. It's not useful to the story at all, and regularly I get the idea that some stunts are just done for the mere fun of it. Apparently, a simple accident involving only two cars is not enough for Cobra 11's stunt crew, so why not crashing the rest of the entire Autobahn into them? And when all these nutters come to a halt just in time, why not fail the brakes of an oncoming truck so the highway will turn into a scrapyard anyway? To hell with realistic action sequences - who cares that cars don't explode in real life?
Cobra 11 has started another season when I write this, and it seems that the stunt team has taken over the scriptwriting. The two hero-like highway coppers seem to have only one goal in their lives: catching the bad guys at all costs. Shooting at thugs in crowded areas, pushing innocent cars off the road when in a high speed chase, nicking other people's cars to go after thugs, scrapping that very car stupidly so the thugs can flee unscathed, crashing the unmarked patrol car into market stalls, dustbins, billboards or other cars - it's all in the game, apparently. The plot holes are as big as Jupiter, the continuity goofs are innumerable, and so are the clichés: all the gang lords drive American cars or Jaguars, the Yakuza - when featured - drive old Z31 Fairladies, cars with caravans are always fitted with Dutch license plates and all tanker trucks featured are doomed to explode.
(And yet it's still fun to watch, just because of the action.)
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