This lavish, impudent, adult fairy tale takes the viewer from 18th-century Braunschweig to St. Petersburg, Constantinople, Venice, and then to the moon using ingenious special effects, stunning location shooting.
Josef von Báky
"Baron Münchhausen" is probably a character who is known to many these days, not only because of Hans Albers, but also abroad because of the Terry Gilliam film. Here we have a fairly new version from 2012, so this one will have its 5th anniversary soon. It is a television production that was aired around the holidays in two parts of 90 minutes each and a look at the cast will tell you that it is a German(-language) production. The title character is played by successful (small screen) actor Jan Josef Liefers and fittingly with the film's focus, he is in it in pretty much every scene from start to finish. And as this one runs for no less than 3 hours, this is a whole lot of screen time for Liefers. Jessica Schwarz and the Ottmann twins are co-lead in here with decorated blonde actress Katja Riemann playing the biggest supporting part that you could maybe also consider the main antagonist. The rest of the supporting cast I am not (really) familiar with.
The first half of the film is basically (apart from the introduction) about Münchhausen's relationship with Schwarz' character while the second half is really more about Münchhausen's connection to the young girl. Lets take a look at the actors a bit. Liefers is somebody who shines through his charisma as he always does, but I cannot say any range in here as usual with him and it's nothing he hasn't done in the past already. Also he seems to be channeling Depp's Captain Sparrow a whole lot in here. Schwarz is a much better actress than she is allowed to show here so she won't take away any attention from Liefers. The two young actresses make a decent job and turn this into an okay family film at times. Riemann is very gimmicky and forgettable yet over-the-top in a bad way at the same time.
The writers never created an interesting story or main character here, which is partially Liefers' fault too. It is obvious how director Linke and writer Seng (especially him) wanted to turn this into an interesting and entertaining three hours, but they came short. Very short. Four stars is still pretty generous for what we are offered here. No surprise with this runtime the movie drags on a lot occasions and is almost never funny or relevant. The moment with Liefers being mistaken for a woman near the end in his outfit was when this movie hit rock-bottom and I guess they thought they bored the audience so much until that point that any kind of absurdity would be okay now, so people would be glad something finally happens. The result is something that is even way lower than any drag comedy by the Supernasen. Stay far far away from this Münchhausen film. It is a huge embarrassment.
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