I do not like goof-ball "comedy" and my 1980s taste evolute with time to more realistic, though fictional, women asserting their equality in law and social status with men, and daily violence that comes from organized crime and security institutions - like the Police and the Army - infiltrated by unlawful people. That's the 21st century in a nutshell. That's why I was able to sit back for this film - actually shown in my country as a 2-part pilot episode for the _"Wild Engel (2003) (TV)"_ series, and enjoy it fully. Yesterday I saw the five episodes I have on tape, and was unable to stop, and fast-forwarded very scenes scenes.
This film opens with an helicopter transported team of heavily armed soldiers to attack a huge military installation that is already surrounded by German police. Then, the building is set ablaze, there are a number of explosions, and one such explosions sends out of the building a missile that explodes behind the police cars, and another explosion sends off a sort of platform from which three scarred young women fall off into the police's hands, so to speak, practically uninjured. Taken to a police station, they keep their mouths shut as they go through the arrest procedures. Then, the leader of the helicopter assault team arrives, and takes the women out of the Police's custody, by just showing his card of BKA (the German Federal Criminal Police).
Then, in three flash-backs, we're presented to the three women who had not known each other 24 hours before... Christina Rabe (played by 28-y-o, black hair Birgit Stauber) is an expert car mechanic and driver, out of business, who has to fight boxing matches in a carnival tent against men to earn some money. (The translator in my country explained that Rabe means Raven in German, but in terms of color that is wrong, for Chris has black hair... He missed the means of the verb Rabe that means of a ferocious animal, To hunt for prey. This is very accurate to describe Chris character, as proved in later episodes.) We are shown two hard matches against heavier men, the last finished quicker because Chris received a message that her brother went to the bank, and it being a Sunday, Chris decided she should be there with him as soon as possible.
Franziska Borgardt (played by 31-y-o Susann Uplegger, brown hair) is the owner of a small bank that has her name on the wall, and of a luxurious country home with a butler and a servant for each of her many whims. We are introduced to her impeccable dress code, and her aim at clay pigeon shooting. She calls a halt to her diversion, has she intends to do some stealthy auditing of accounts, and Sunday is the only day the bank has no one there, except security TV cameras. She tells her butler that a person can not stop working if one wants "to be on top" of things.
Lena Heitmann (played by blonde Eva Habermann, 25) is introduced leaving Köln's police station in her first day of service. She has been appointed as the driver for an older male cop, who distinctly does not enjoy her sense of humor, nor his change of partner. Early in their patrol, they receive a radio call to go to an automatic alarm warning at the Borgardt Bank, and Lena drives madly through the traffic, making theirs to be the first cops on the scene. With the door closed, and no action inside, the male cop plays it cool, mentioning how many false alarms they have; he is seconded by another cop who arrives alone in his car, and the two men talk together, while Lena prefers to run to another street (the bank occupies a block) where she remembers having seen a sideways entrance.
That's when policewoman Lena meets VIP lady Franziska being kidnapped by the jobless duo of Chris and her brother. The three characters converge into the scene in a realistic manner, and the actresses fully endorse the three types of women that will (through the TV series) interplay as rivals and friends to solve crime mysteries. A sense of "déja vu" will be shattered by an intelligent written screenplay and dialogue, well handed stunt action scenes of all sorts (car chases, car crashes, aerial actions, fights on a small boat, gun fights...). Other reviewers emphasized the poor acting in the series; I'll underline that these are real stunt-women graduating into acting quite well, and that these sort of stunts was not, never ever, produced in the forerunner of Angels-based series, _"Charlie's Angels" (1980) (TV)_.
The intricate operation of the exchange of German Marks for the Euro (that was going to be introduced then) included the massive destruction of the ancient bank notes by the Army. The notes were going to be under severe controls going in to the destruction points, but only their quantity was going to be measured going into the furnace. That would leave open the opportunity for a rogue group of soldiers and policemen to substitute forged marks by the real ones in the warehouse, and appropriate the real German Marks that they would be able to exchange in banks at their leisure...
They did not do it, because BKA unit leader Martin Grossmann (played by Filip Peeters) was attentive, and decided to infiltrate a former criminal law student of his (without Chris knowledge), among the rogue cops. By the end of the adventure, Mr. Grossman decides to hire all three young women as his undercover group: The Specialists.
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