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Johann von Bülow,
A delightful surprise, edge-of-the seat stuff from start to finish
This is the second time I have watched the German crime thriller "Mörder auf Amrum" already and it was just as great as the first time. All the action takes place on a German island. There's only two cops around when another injured female cop enters their police station with a shot wound and a young woman who needs protection from Eastern European criminals. The cop dies shortly afterward. So the older and the younger cop now have the task of protecting the woman. Not much later, another contract killer arrives on the island and again not much later a trio of helpers come to assist him to finally kill the woman.
The film runs slightly under 90 minutes, is 5 years old already now, but still one of the best (if not the best) crime thriller I have seen from Germany, which is especially remarkable as it's "only" a television production. This is so much better than "Tatort", which sucks 90% of the time. The director is Markus Imboden, the writer is Holger Karsten Schmid, both with lots of experience under their belts already. The lead actor is Hinnerk Schönemann and he reunites with Thomas Thieme. both already played in the very famous "Das Leben der Anderen". Thieme especially has an impressive body of work. He also was in "Die Tür" and Academy Award nominees "Der Untergang" and "Der Baader Meinhof Komplex". Shame Thieme was gone in "Mörder auf Amrum" before half the film was over. The female lead is Irina Potapenko, who is a delight both visually and acting-wise and played the central female character the year before in the Austrian Academy Award nominee "Revanche".
The main villain was pretty evil too and had lots of screen presence, especially physically. One of his phone calls with Schönemann reminded me of the one from Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men". All the local references to Amrum were very nicely too and even if the film was really tense, bloody and graphic, it also had quite some humor ("secrecy of the post reestablished"). On one scene an agent is pulled into a toilet for disabled people and he wished he would come out there with a disability, but he'll never get out there. Also loved the fact that they could not leave the island, because it was too dangerous out there. Weather more important than a bunch of murderers chasing you. The irony. It has something very North German to it. If there was any criticism at all with this film, then it's maybe that Schönemann's character was too much of a hero and especially the way he and his mate took out these two professional killer in an open street and the end was not particularly realistic. Anyway, I highly recommend this movie to anybody with an interest in crime thrillers. I don't know how accessible it is in non-German speaking countries, but to Germans it is a must-see.
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