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"Alarm fur Cobra 11" (Emergency for Cobra-11) is a popular German TV cop series that is running on the TV station RTL since 1996 with great success. It shows the cases of two highway patrol officers, played by Turkish actor Erdogan Atalay (probably because many young Turks are into high-speed BMW and Mercedes sedans) and his handsome buddy Rene Steinke, his third companion in this series.
These cops usually meet all the evil men somewhere on the German autobahns which leads to spectacular car chases with big crashes and explosions and people dying at least two or three times during each 45-minute episode. It's all very influenced by modern Hollywood action cinema or Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay and sometimes appears like a prime time TV version of "Speed", "Con Air", "Die Hard" and the "Lethal Weapon" series.
The best about this series are the two main actors, the often funny dialogues (often inspired by Mel Gibson and Danny Glover) and the usually thrilling and sometimes weird plots with plenty of references to well-known movie genres. There are ninja killers murdering innocent victims on highway bridges. There is a handicapped "Phantom of the Opera" living in an empty garage besides a lonely highway, running amok on the the autobahn with guns and bombs. There is a femme fatale, killing Ferrari drivers as she was a rape victim years before, and there is a gang of bank robbers sieging the cops in a lonely forest house just like John Wayne in "Rio Bravo".
At its best, "Cobra 11" is thrilling and sometimes even outstanding German TV action entertainment. At it's worst, it's just a repetition of the same flying BMW cars exploding somewhere on the highways. There are also too many goofs in it, with cars changing it's model and design within seconds or with unreal facts like times and distances.
But during this weekly action overkill, nobody really cares about a BMW 3 changing into a BMW 2 during a salto mortale, so sit back and relax with the autobahn cops meeting the most unusual horrors on the German highways to hell.
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