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February 1939: Switzerland closes its borders to Jewish refugees. Hundreds of people continue crossing the border without a valid visa. An investigation is launched by the Chief of the ... See full summary »
You will not be stung and you will not be disappointed either. This is the first of so far 4 90-minute television movies starring Hinnerk Schönemann as private investigator Finn Zehender in the village of Aschbach. The writer of all these films is the experienced Holger Karsten Schmidt and the director is Swiss filmmaker Markus Imboden. Imboden directed Schönemann and his co-star Thomas Thieme already in "Mörder auf Amrum" 6 years ago, one of the best German films this century in my opinion. Thomas Thieme is one of Germany's finest actors right now in my opinion. He played bigger characters in three Oscar-nominated films between 2004 and 2008, including Foreign Language Feature winner "Das Leben der Anderen". And yet, he is hardly a name to anybody, even here in Germany. I believe he is truly great and also has nice chemistry with Hinnerk Schönemann, another personal favorite of mine.
Their two characters grow closer as this film series moves forward, but in this first installment, "Mörderisches Wespennest", they are still almost enemies. The crime story and police investigation in this film is better than in most German films, but it's really the subtly nuanced comedy in here which makes this one really worth a watch. All the characters, even if they are mostly included for dramatic purposes, bring a very unique brand of comedy to this film and this is actually what German television crime movies need. There are so many out there, yet they are struggling so hard with comedic sub-plots, even if almost all of them these days give it a try. The worst example of these developments is probably the very unfunny brand of humor delivered in Jan Josef Liefers movies. "Mörderisches Wespennest" gets it all right in this regard. Even when Thieme's character sobs his brother's name Thomas repeatedly during this film, there is always some (un-)intended humor to it. Or the Irish references about Zehender's licenses and permissions were hilarious too. And one last addition, Daniela Schulz is a nice addition to. She plays her character also very nicely, a truly unexperienced cop and she is very easy on the eye as well. This film is a success. I recommend it and it makes me curious about the sequels that followed.
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