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Young Charlemagns is placed on the Frankish throne in the middle of the 8th Century A.D. Despite having many powerful enemies he slowly unites the nations of Western Europe and rebuilds civilization on the ruins of the Roman Empire.
The treasure of the Nibelungen is thought to be the biggest lost treasure in the world, supposedly still hidden somewhere in Germany. No wonder that people dedicate their money, energy and even their lives to get hold of it. Eik is one of them. He was once obsessed by the need to prove that the treasure is for real and not just a myth. But in his search for the famous "Treasure of the Nibelungen", his beloved wife and best friend Albert lost their lives. Since then, this handsome man in his forties gave up his quest to live a quite and withdrawn life with his teenage daughter Krimi. Ten years later all this changes: A new lead unfolds and this time it may just be the right one. Once again Eik is part of the game. Together with the young and extrovert Justus, the sexy, highly intelligent and slightly high-strung scientist Katharina, he starts on a spectacular hunt across Europe. Written by
A masterpiece of visual production value - and a full creative disappointment!
This movie was produced straight for German TV, so it had to deal with a extremely limited budget compared to similar Hollywood movies like "National Treasure". Having that in mind - which the normal audience does not have - this movie is not only produced very well, it is purely amazing how much the producers achieved with "so little" money - dozens of outdoor locations throughout the whole of Germany, action sequences, crowd scenes, cathedrals, graves, caves - they managed to get all visual ingredients for a good adventure in there. If Hollywood produced their movies with so much care, they could save a lot of money.
Of course, you SEE that you are watching a TV movie, even if it is the moist expensive single TV movie for Germany up to date - the crowds are a little bit smaller, the helicopter camera flights a little bit less, the visual effects look a little bit more cheesy, the action sequences are not that carefully choreographed and the car chasing sequences end without having destroyed anything and after less than a minute compared to a big budget movie.
But all that would not matter at all, if one would have tried not to imitate the big prototype movies from Hollywood, which feature cool visuals but often rarely any story or good performances, if one would have tried to find a own language, a own pace, a new approach to the adventure genre - and last but not least: If one would have had a really good screenwriter for dialogue! ;)
Because you can make the best and thrilling low-budget movies with less than three locations if the script kicks ass and if the director can create amazing tension with his ensemble for the audience - but nothing has been achieved here. The dialogue comes with cheesy one-liners, some actors seem to be completely overwhelmed with the stuff they're supposed to be saying (Bettina Zimmermann is one of THE German actresses, but she seems to be completely lost here, never finding her character throughout the whole movie), the part of the hero's daughter does not anything to the drama or the development of the story and only destroys the believability of scenes with bad acting and - worst of all
there's never a real threat for our heroes, the film fails to create
suspense and the "whew-now-the-story-really-sucks-me-in"-feeling through the whole running time. The showdown, for example, is so badly and boring directed that you think the director must have had a follow-up movie and tried to get away from this one as fast as possible.
So in the end all that remains with the audience are the beautiful German landscapes - and the sad understanding that, once again, German filmmakers completely lack a own vision of how to tell a story to make a good movie that is more than is worth watching twice or renting the DVD.
And if someone would want to rent this movie, after he has seen all the other similar international movies of this kind, I could only recommend it because of the actor Fabian Busch - he's the one making this movie at least entertaining as hell when he appears on screen. With his character everything is just perfect - he's perfectly directed, the script gives him funny and brilliant lines and his whole appearance is great to watch. Why wasn't the rest of the movie created as entertaining as his character? *sigh*
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