6.9/10
3,325
24 user 28 critic

What to Do in Case of Fire (2001)

Was tun, wenn's brennt? (original title)
What To Do In Case of Fire? tells the humorous and touching story of six former creative anarchists who lived as house squatters in Berlin during its heyday in the 80s when Berlin was still... See full summary »

Director:

Gregor Schnitzler

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Til Schweiger ... Tim
Martin Feifel ... Hotte
Sebastian Blomberg ... Maik
Nadja Uhl ... Nele
Matthias Matschke ... Terror
Doris Schretzmayer ... Flo
Klaus Löwitsch ... Manowsky
Devid Striesow ... Henkel
Barbara Philipp Barbara Philipp ... Pritt
Aykut Kayacik Aykut Kayacik ... Bülent
Hubert Mulzer Hubert Mulzer ... Polizeipräsident
Oliver Mommsen Oliver Mommsen ... Konrad
This Maag This Maag ... Schmitz
Johanna von Halem Johanna von Halem ... Assistentin Agentur
Sandra Nedeleff ... Maklerin
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Storyline

What To Do In Case of Fire? tells the humorous and touching story of six former creative anarchists who lived as house squatters in Berlin during its heyday in the 80s when Berlin was still an island in the middle of the former eastern Germany. At the end of the 80s they went their separate ways with the exception of Tim and Hotte, who have remained true to their ideals and continue to fight the issues they did as a group. In 2000, with Berlin as Germany's new capital, an event happens forcing the group out of existential reason to reunite and, ultimately, come to grips with the reason they separated 12 years ago. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The past can be a ticking bomb. Especially if you placed it there yourself.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

31 January 2002 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

What to Do in Case of Fire See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$530,519 (Germany), 1 February 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

As the group enters the train station "Ostkreuz" at the end of the movie, it's night and the sky is black. When they reach the platform, the sun is shining. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable, albeit a bit Hollywoodish

It's 1987 in Germany, and the social problems reach a point where there are constant riots and chaos. In the middle of this problems, a group of 6 radical anarchists created a bomb that never exploded... 12 years later the bomb explodes and all the clues point to them. Now they must reunite, and try to eliminate the proofs because now they have grown up, some have children, some have promising careers... and some got stunk in the past.

"Was tun, wenn's brennt?" is a very good movie by promising director Gregg Schnitzler that tells the story of this band of former radicals after 12 years of changes, social and personal. The movie flows at good pace, with good humor and feel-good attitude. Add to the mix an attractive young cast and you get this light comedy.

Probably, that is both its greatest attribute and its greatest flaw: the fact that it has a lot of potential for being a deep character study filled with dark humor, but instead chooses the way of being a light hearted comedy with an upbeat tone.

The movie has very good camera-work, although it has that Hollywoodish feeling that may turn some people away. Those "Hollywood" moments are what probably hurt the film the most, with clichéd scenes that distract us from the point for the sake of getting emotions.

Besides its light tone, the movie manages to deliver its message; past returns to burn you. While Tim (Til Schweiger) and Hotte (Martin Feifel) are still living in the past, the rest of the gang tries to forget it, and ultimately it returns to burn them.

The acting was actually better than expected, with Matthias Matschke as Terror, the former punk turned lawyer (!) stealing every scene he is in. Also, it is worth mentioning the appearance of Klaus Löwitsch as an old cop who still remembers those days before the fall of the wall.

Overall an enjoyable movie that despite its Hollywoodish tone (complete with feel-good ending), it manages to be fresh and more inventive that most Hollywood light comedies. It's definitely worth a rent. 7/10


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