Er ist wieder da (2015) Poster

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This film made me think twice, and still thinking about it...
princessnina32 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I've never written a review. But this movie made me think twice, so I thought I'd share my thoughts with you. Please don't be too harsh on me about mistakes in my English, my mother tongue is Dutch, so I am bound to make mistakes. As I said, I am Dutch; that makes me a neighbour of Germany, my parents grew up during the second WW, the school system educates us inside out about the war(s) and we learn German in school. So I have knowledge about Hitler, the way he rose to power, his gruesome deeds, his mistakes, also his successes, and his downfall. I was eagerly anticipating this movie, I had seen the trailers and they made me chuckle. Yet, I was very curious how the director was going to portray this character as "funny", since the trailers were portraying this movie as some sort of a comedy. In my opinion, Hitler is far from funny, yet I did smile during the trailers, which didn't really make me like myself. I had to see this movie. Fortunately it played in our local cinema, so I went, on a rainy afternoon. There were three other people there, one of whom was an elderly lady (with her grandson), discussing loudly how "they were going to make it credible how Hitler got back to present day". That was not my worry… As far as I could judge (and please don't slay me on this, I'm not an experienced movie critic) the movie made clever use of actors, as well as regular people, bystanders, whose reactions were filmed documentary wise while meeting "Hitler" (in SS uniform, a very good likeness, although in my opinion the actor was quite tall, whereas the real Hitler was quite short). My initial emotions during the beginning of this movie, were confusing to me. I had some good laughs, and I even felt sympathetic to the way he was portrayed. I couldn't help myself. I didn't want to feel sympathy for him or laugh about his silliness, yet I did. The beginning of the movie was humorous, yet as it progressed, it got more and more grim. And it was not because of the actors or the things happening in the movie, it was because of the reactions of REAL people to "Hitler". I could not believe my eyes and ears. And without getting too much into detail and thereby spoiling a lot of content, "Hitler" goes on a road trip through Germany and talks to real people. Their reactions made me cringe. But the director cleverly changes from scene to scene and the "bad things" tend to be forgotten soon enough, when funny things happen again. This also made me think, after the movie was done. All in all, the viewer will undoubtedly feel sympathetic towards Hitler. And then suddenly, 3/4th into the movie, there is a grim and sudden turning point, which leaves you in awe, and makes you THINK and gives you a bolt of reality. **SPOILER** Hitler is introduced to an elderly demented Jewish woman, yet the audience does not know she is Jewish, she is catatonic and does not react to anybody, including her family, yet when Hitler steps into the house and starts to speak, her head lifts, her eyes open wide and she starts to scream. This scene gave me goose bumps. While everybody tried to calm her down and said things like "he is not real", "it's just for fun", she exclaimed things like: "that's what everybody thought about him decades ago, yet he was not funny, or sympathetic, he was a beast of a man and murdered out my entire family", well you get the drift. I was shaken about this scene, because she was so right and I felt like I was put in my place! From here on, the movie takes a different course and all is not so funny anymore, but a tad grim. Yet, the director preserves humour by showing how real people react when they get confronted with "Hitler". You feel like a voyeur, and you feel substitute shame, which is all too real, cause these people are real! Toward the end there was another scene which made me think twice. **SPOILER** "Hitler" is filmed when somebody confronts him who found out that "Hitler" is not a clever fraud but real, and this persons wants "Hitler" to jump off a building, which eventually happens. When the confronter looks over the edge, "Hitler" is nowhere to be seen, but when he turns around, there "Hitler" is again, and he speaks, saying something like he cannot be killed, because he is a part of all Germans, part of their common history, and he cannot be erased from that. This made me sit upright again. Cause there's so much truth in it! I've had German friends, who had a huge love for Scotland. They went there every spare moment. I asked them once: "Why don't you ever speak about Germany? Or go on holiday there? Your country is really beautiful". They explained that they somehow felt this was not a right thing to do, because of Germany's burdened past. They could never say things like "we are proud of Germany", because it would immediately be associated with Germany's Nazi history. That's why they concentrated on other countries than their own. They underwent their Nazi past as a burden. I felt bad about this but I also had to acknowledge there must be truth in how my friends felt. My conclusion about this movie is, that I was ready to be entertained by it, yet I was left thinking twice about its message, and still thinking about it. The movie is never boring, the acting is very good and the characters very credible. There is a sublime mixture between humour and seriousness and plain "wow"-moment, I can't explain. But the best thing about this movie is, that it is contemporary and it really makes you think twice.
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This isn't about Hitler...
empty-bin31 May 2016
...And that's why it was so scary.

This is a thriller. The premise is Hitler has some how come through time and believes fate has brought him here to clean house (again). However, the film was actually using this metaphor to describe the coming of the next Führer if we're not careful. If we let down our guard we absolutely WILL see the rise of the next Adolf Hitler.

The character of Hitler spoke the truth, mostly. His rhetoric cut to the heart of today's problems. It was a German production so, obviously, he spoke directly to German issues but again, Germany was just the stage and Hitler the puppet. The puppeteers were revealing a global truth wrapped in a local narrative.

Recall the time Angela Merkel, today's German Chancellor, called G.W. Bush on 9/11 and the subsequent "War on Terror" saying something to the effect of, "We've seen this before...!" THIS is what the movie is getting at.

This film is filled with amazing though often chilling street interviews featuring Hitler interrogating work-a-day people. Many of the younger of these people so open to the apparent humor or irony were embracing him, taking "Hitler selfies" - other older spectators and interviewees apparently LONGED for someone to take the reins and whip (Germany) into shape, getting rid of "suspicious-looking, bearded Salafists", etc. And these were not actors. The film was illustrating for you how Hitler rose to power the first time and how easily and quickly it could happen again.

This was a beautifully done movie. I have the book as well and I prefer the movie.
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While it seems like a super-offensive film, it actually is incredible social, political and media commentary.
MartinHafer23 May 2016
Imagine a film made guerilla-style like "Borat"....but with a guy dressed up like Hitler walking about modern day Germany! Well, you don't really need to imagine too much as some crazy filmmakers have done that with the film "Look Who's Back"!! Yes, a film crew follows Oliver Masucci as he impersonates Hitler and plays it 100% straight!

Unlike "Borat" where you know that it's just Sasha Baron Cohen pretending to be from Kazakstan, in this film Masucci plays it as if he really is Hitler and never breaks character. When the film begins, he is inexplicably transported from Germany in 1945 to the present day. At first, he's very confused. Then, he develops a return to politics and take Germany into the future! To do this, he enlists the help of an unemployed filmmaker, Sawatski...and together they travel throughout the country...meeting people, talking politics and becoming an internet phenomenon! Where does all this lead to? See this very insightful film.

The idea of this film is thoroughly distasteful and I actually thought might be illegal in light of German laws about the portrayal of Nazis and Hitler. However, the film manages to somehow be funny, great political commentary and not as distasteful and awful as you might imagine. This is because some of the folks in this film are not actors...and their reactions to Hitler are incredibly telling. Many of them seem to like Hitler and his message...especially regarding the negative influence immigrants have made on Germany. Again and again, folks agree with 'Hitler' and his crazy ideas while others just think it's a funny or incredibly unfunny joke...and these reactions are indeed fascinating. In addition, the way that television takes to him and his crass message is a real indictment of the moral bankruptcy of many in the media...and one that is highly reminiscent of the great 70s parody, Network.

Before you start sending me hate mail, I suggest you try seeing this odd and incredibly offensive film for yourself. While it clearly is wrong on one manages to actually have some incredible political and social commentary...making it clever and a sad indictment of the culture and the media. The film's contention, amazingly, is that he'd probably fit in just fine if such a thing actually did happen! What an unusual and compelling movie...and one that just debuted on Netflix this month. Clearly, you ain't seen nothing' until you've seen this one!
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An Exercise in Challenging the Norm
tributarystu24 October 2015
I was traveling in Berlin a year ago when I first saw someone reading the eponymous book on which this movie is based. It stuck in a corner of my mind, so as my travels brought me back to Berlin and posters were advertising "Er ist wieder da", I had to give it a go.

The challenge, as with previous comedic movies themed around Hitler or the Nazi regime, is treading the line of reasonable taste and still being challenging enough to gain some relevance. One of the best known spoofs of the times, The Producers, uses it as a pivot to tell an engaging story about several memorable characters, so that works well. But here, there's little to pivot from, as Hitler, in realistic attire and demeanor, narrates his experience of present day Germany. So the twist, in part, is to make it a mockumentary in the spirit of Borat, see how people react to Hitler walking the streets and delivering his calculated critiques of the political system, the media - life in general. When it's not doing this, the film provides a decent dose of slapstick and irony to its more obviously scripted parts. Distinguishing one from the other is not really the key to enjoyment; the key lies in accepting this faithful representation of Hitler as a grotesquely humorous caricature of the symbolic power he holds over modern history in its most extreme moments. It was a bit harder than I thought it would be at the beginning, but one settles in well, after a while.

Narratively, not much really happens, other than the fact that the protagonist pops up in Berlin and gets acquainted to what the world is like nowadays. To help him in this, a few support characters act as guides; none believe him to be "the real thing", but rather a comedian or a satirist. So, in a sense, it's not really a very ambitious film, because the degree to which it engages with the moral dimension of the situation is limited. But it is ambitious in that it tries to keep a straight face even through the more ghastly, touch-and-go moments one would relate to a Hitler movie. It is at its best when it does this, but then the occasional piece of slapstick hits you in the face are you're back into the reality of a mildly amusing film that people have only heard of because it is polemic.

An important part in the whole thing coming together reasonably well is thanks to Oliver Masucci, who offers a strong performance to keep the "pots" in balance. Perhaps one could critique this in particular: the implication is that any piece of fiction told in the first person will make the viewer empathize with the character, hence humanizing the historical figure. But the historical figure itself is merely a representation of the man and "Er ist wieder da" tries to contextualize this - make away with what you know and imagine this were pre-1933. As mentioned, it doesn't go very deep with it and it would be quite problematic to do so. It's just a thought experiment which concludes in a slightly open and ambiguous fashion.

To address the real question though: did I laugh? Yes, I did. Did I enjoy it? Yes, I did. The film managed to create an amusing environment which plays off the character of Hitler, without making it the other way around (all the time). As for the big picture, I might not agree that the world is, collectively, where it was seventy years ago, in spite of the troubles we are currently facing, especially in Europe. Or that we would make the same mistakes all over again. But that's another story of me visiting Berlin.
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Current day Hitler
thomasldolman12 December 2015
The movie shows Hitler in a current day setting. Which at first is very humorous, but during the movie it turns from just funny into awkward and beyond. There are great scenes in which the movie refers to other movies about Hitler, like "Der Untergang", but also hilarious scenes in which the absurdity of a present day Hitler are just fun. The turn of the movie is subtle and fascinating. You only notice it after it has already happened, which to me reflects the real way this would occur. It even happens that at some point the audience questions its own laughter. This movie is fun to experience, but also confronting in the upcoming changes in political landscape.

So watch out, it is not just a comedy!
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More impactful than expected
sergi_translate16 December 2016
I like movies that make me think. Er ist wieder da, was suggested to me as a comedy, and not being particularly fond of comedies, what I got was way more than expected.

The movie treads a sensitive line with sufficient care, but what is most important to me, with plausibility. Even the few places where the script becomes "unreal", in general the coherence and treatment of the insertion of THE character in present society is preserved, and that is for me an enormous value in itself. The probing of current times by the use of this major historical character is remarkably able to become an exercise of philosophy and even introspection.

In my opinion an extremely challenging script becomes here alive by his own merits, and the acting supports this substrate quite solidly.

I laughed, and even if I today would better file it as a tragicomedy, For the sake of our times let's call it a comedy. And I very much hope, from the bottom of my heart that, in the next years to come we can continue to say, that it was so.
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Brilliant blend of humor and brutal seriousness
fredrik-118-27789523 April 2016
In the very start the movie seems so innocent and a little silly. The colors are all bright. The humor though is really entertaining and i like that the Germans can joke about this topic themselves. As the movie goes on we see a lot of footage of ordinary Germans saluting Hitler and complaining about the immigrants, it connects really good with the time we live in. The movie gets more and more serious, and the main character finds out it's the real Hitler. I think the well made transition from being all innocent and humorous describes Nazi Germany. No one thought it would go this far. Really touched me even though i've seen quite a lot of movies about Nazi Germany. 9/10
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The Art of Comedy: How to Be Supremely Funny & Deadly Serious at the Same Time
faterson12 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Making fun of Hitler has had a long tradition, dating back to when Hitler was alive, and one of the greatest comedies of all time, Charlie Chaplin's _The Great Dictator_. Indeed, Chaplin can be briefly glimpsed in _Look Who's Back_, along with other actors who portrayed or lampooned Hitler over the decades.

Just like _The Great Dictator_ manages to be a thoroughly serious movie towards the very end and Chaplin's famous speech extolling democracy, _Look Who's Back_ also has a serious undertone beneath all the slapstick. It, therefore, meets the prime criterion for supreme comedy: that it should be very funny to watch (and you're likely to laugh out loud quite a few times) but simultaneously deadly serious in its message.

_Look Who's Back_, ingeniously, features not just a twist ending, but *two* twist endings, followed, quite a bit later, by the genuine ending. It is precisely during the two twist endings that the movie is the most serious. It probes the viewer's faith in democracy – is it a viable model for society at all? And, are human beings, at their core, good or bad? The answer is, of course, "neither", or "both". And that is exactly what the twist endings demonstrate: first, Hitler speaks so convincingly as to make even his most virulent opponents among the viewers admit that he has a point. It appears that evil has triumphed after all; or, is it human negligence and mental laziness and self-centeredness that allows voters to shrug their shoulders and, perhaps despite some inner misgivings, elect someone like Hitler to be their leader? In any case, Hitler affirms that he'd be back – not forcefully, but joyously welcomed by the people as their beloved leader.

But wait! Florian the common man wants to have none of it. His repulsion against evil is too great, and after struggling mightily with himself, he shoots Hitler. It appears that the good has triumphed after all.

But wait! There's another twist coming, and then yet another – the movie's true ending that, so to say, "hangs in the balance" and is neutral. It says that the time for Hitler's return in today's Europe, confused by the refugee crisis, is auspicious. It now depends on us, the viewers, whether we allow that to happen.

The very last few moments in _Look Who's Back_ show some real-life newsreel footage of unrests during the refugee crisis (the movie was made in 2014 as opposed to the book that was released 3 years earlier when the refugee crisis wasn't a topic of discussion). I thought that the addition of this real-life footage was unnecessary, too "propaganda-laden", if you will (although well-meant), and I wish this would have been left out. One can too palpably feel that this was just "slapped on" to the finished movie as an afterthought, as a reaction to the refugee crisis in post-2014 Europe.

The slapstick is great throughout, and some scenes are unforgettably hilarious, such as Hitler's secretary setting up an email account for him, but discovering that all of Hitler's preferred user names (including his own name) are already taken. Not only in moments like these, Oliver Masucci gives an excellent performance in the title role – understated in the proper moments, funny but nuanced.

Generally, the actors' performances in _Look Who's Back_ are superb, and credit for guiding them so expertly must be given to the director David Wnendt. I was particularly impressed by Christoph Maria Herbst and Katja Riemann in the roles of dueling, high-powered media executives. The chilliness and ruthlessness exuded by their characters is almost palpable. Herbst is supposed to be a comedic actor primarily, but his character in _Look Who's Back_ is above all a dramatic figure, and Herbst's portrayal is spot-on. (In one of Herbst's funnier moments, _Look Who's Here_ features a meticulous recreation of the famous Bruno Ganz "Hitler outburst" scene from _Der Untergang_. There we have a cinematic sendup to complement all the countless YouTube subtitled mutations.) Among supporting actors in smaller but memorable roles, I was impressed by Thomas Thieme as the TV boss, and Gudrun Ritter as Grandma.

_Look Who's Back_ offers a great mixture of scripted dialogue and scenes and "hidden camera", Sacha Baron Cohen-like unscripted scenes. These are mixed so well that sometimes, you're not quite sure whether you're watching the former or the latter. See Hitler's visit of NPD headquarters, produced in the style of real-life documentaries, hand-held cameras and all.

The satire in _Look Who's Back_ is biting: Hitler gets beat up by Neo-Nazis, because they assume he must be making fun of Hitler. And the German TV population, so apparently ready to embrace a second coming of Hitler, is only taken aback (temporarily?) when they see Hitler mistreating a little dog. Kindness towards fellow humans is perhaps not a given in Germany, but it's the German love of dogs that is truly unconditional.

I haven't read the book yet, but it appears that the movie was suitably and in certain respects, significantly altered compared to the book, but with the best possible outcome. Depending on the credits source, up to 6 various writers may have worked on the screenplay, including the director Wnendt and the book writer Timur Vermes, and this carefulness has paid its dividends.
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I don't consider this a comedy
Saiyan_Prince_Vegeta23 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is pretty good and I didn't watch it as a comedy and I don't think director wanted to make it a comedy. Yes, it has some positive moments, but that's not the point. I'm glad they don't show Hitler in a really negative way as most modern movies do that, but instead they show why people loved Hitler during his era. They show him in a positive way and that helps to understand why some people loved him and some still love him. Also it's good that they showed how neo-Nazis beat Hitler, because that shows that most neo-Nazis don't even follow Hitler and are just a parody of Nazis, because they didn't even recognize their own idol when he was standing in front of them (even many neo-Nazis themselves say that most people who call themselves Nazis are not really Nazis, but just a parody of Nazis). Also, this movie shows that it wouldn't be that hard to turn normal person into nazi, because as we see in the movie, at first some people liked Hitler just because they thought he was funny, but then they started supporting him because they started liking his ideas. Anyways, I think this movie is VERY realistic and it really shows what could happen if Hitler would return. And it ends at a very good point and the viewer knows that this is just the beginning and most likely Hitler will succeed again. And this movie clearly has some hidden meaning. If someone thinks that Hitler couldn't rise to power in modern society they are so wrong, and Hitler proves that in this movie when he says that he managed to rise to power because even people who were against him, deep inside their heart were just like him. Such a powerful moment!

I really recommend watching this movie if you want to understand Hitler and human nature better.

Also, IMDb summarizes this movie as "Adolf Hitler wakes up to find himself in the 21st century. From there he pursues a career as a standup comedian. " STANDUP COMEDIAN? Really? Who wrote that summary, this is really not what the movie is about!
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Brilliant, funny, but very scary
donb-519-33507527 February 2017
How to make a comedy out of very tragic events and characters? Adrian Brody did it in "Life Is Beautiful" about life in a concentration camp. "Look Who's Back" does it via the premise that Adolf Hitler returns to modern day Germany. Of course everyone believes that he is an actor - one who disturbingly never steps out of character. The audience knows that he cannot - as he actually is Hitler. Much of the film is humorous as Hitler tries to reestablish himself as "The Fuhrer" and tries to understand and cope with modern day technology and attitudes.

Oliver Masucci is brilliant as Hitler -playing the role so straight that he became very scary near the end. The brilliance of Hitler was aptly demonstrated as people began responding to the hate - filled rhetoric he employed on various television shows. In real life the industrialists supported Hitler because they were sure they could control him - they could not. The church supported him because they thought he would be useful to them and that they could control him - they could not. Finally the German Army threw in with him because they wanted to get rid of their rivals - Hitler's "brown shirt" Army - the Sturmabteilung (SA). He got rid of Strasser and Rohm and thousands of others as he dismantled the organization which carried him to power. But alas the Army also could not control him.

In the movie, he becomes a media star because of viewership and ratings. We see glimpses of the audience saying like "I think I agree with him, and he makes a lot of sense." The TV moguls are building their careers on his outrageousness and resulting popularity.

His grasp on people is creepy, insidious and feels quite realistic. This film shows you how riveting he could be - and gives you a glimpse into how he came to power.

So, beyond laughs - the message clearly is that this could happen again. We must be aware of potential dictators in our midst. A few people in the movie saw that he really was Hitler - and they were discarded at the end of the movie.

This movie is not a condemnation of Germany - past or present. Hitler in the movie postulates at the end of the film that we cannot get rid of him - because he is a part of us. I hope that is not true.
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Must see
juleshoov8 December 2015
"Er ist wieder da": he is back again in English is a MUST SEE. First of all it is a really good insight in how Hitler influenced the German people and finally gained their trust. It is black humor but one of a amazing reality at that time and with a bitter similarity with the social status in Germany and Holland due to the huge flow of asylum seekers. A film to see for the young and the old. and good to see with your children ( like we did) Do'nt be foled by frustrated reviewers who have an opinion without having seen the movie. ( I call this " the Caligula " syndrome ,also one of the most underrated movies of all time: showing the reality of history !!!)
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connecting Hitler to Europe's present immigration problems
wvisser-leusden30 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, 'Er ist wieder da' (= German for 'Here he is again') stands out for the magnificent performance by Oliver Masucci of the Adolf Hitler-role -- which I think deserves an Oscar.

Carried by this, 'Er ist wieder da' makes a very German, if not European, film. Which, I guess, may be difficult to understand for Americans. In the end its plot focuses on European immigration, and everything that comes with it. Seriously presenting the issue in a neutral and correct way, indicating its big political complications.

But before we get there, the film offers plenty of fun. In particular in its beginning. Hitler wakes up on the same spot where he left in 1945: Berlin city center. And starts exploring the Berlin of 2014 with a full 1945-mindsetting. Thus releasing some great slapstick, which truly made tears of laughter stream down my cheeks.

However, it does not take Hitler long to discover email and internet. He understands its great potential very quickly, and gets on to a new huge career as a television-star.

So far the plot of 'Er ist wieder da'. As I said, a very German- styled film, that gradually goes down on the sensitive issue of connecting Hitler with Europe's present immigration problems. It does so in a credible way, thanks to Masucci's magnificent performance of the Adolf Hitler-role.
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Hitler in a comedy that rocks!
t-dooley-69-3869163 May 2016
'Er ist wieder da' is the original title of this absolute gem of a film from Germany and it is a comedy – of sorts. The plot is that Adolf materialises in 2014 straight from 1945 and is totally befuddled as to what has happened to the rubble, the enemy aircraft and why the youth don't seem to recognise him or even worse they don't know how to do the Nazi salute.

We have the parallel story of Fabian Sawatzki who is a freelance film maker in need of a break and he sees 'Der Fuhrer' as a handy meal ticket back into TV. So begins the odyssey and to say this is inspired is a massive understatement.

This is a comedy and it is the most I have laughed in ages. The idea of juxtaposing Hitler's views as comedy material is genius. Now there is a big however here and that is his views are still pretty offensive even in this context.

The actor playing him is Oliver Masucci and he is an absolute show stealer. Some of this has been adlibbed on actual German streets and other situations and some of the reactions of the public are remarkable for all the right and wrong reasons. This is though an incredibly refreshing and novel film that I am so glad I got to see – I saw it on Netflix and this justifies my monthly subscription for the next six months – this will not be for everyone but if you are open to a new twist on bad things then you will hopefully enjoy this as much as I did.
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Devastating Time-Travel Satire
joncheskin27 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Look Who's Back is an amazing German movie that takes a rather old-fashioned science-fiction premise and gives it a new twist. A man from the past finds himself inexplicably transported to the present-day. The man turns out to be none other than Adolph Hitler, who, like anyone in such a situation, is dazed and confused and at first wondering what has happened. Even worse for him, he is transported in one of his old uniforms and at first finds himself wandering the streets of 2014 Berlin, with curious onlookers assuming that he is a kook worthy perhaps of a selfie shot from a cell phone. Hitler soon gets his bearings, however, and a fresh set of clothes, and befriends a television producer, who turns him into something of an internet sensation. The rest of the movie is a fascinating surmise of what Hitler might be in the present day.

Look Who's Back is something of a cross-cultural comedy, like Malcolm McDowell's Time After Time, which also involved a celebrity time-traveler (HG Wells). We get to see him learn about modern things like TV, cooking shows, computers, and the internet, and we of course get to see what he might think of modern politics. He is often awkward in the modern world, so we get to laugh. But look out, this is Hitler, and he is the same super-self-possessed demon that we all know and dread. The character is 3D and drawn with amazing brilliance by Oliver Masucci. He starts doing what Hitler would do--talking to people, getting a sense of their anxieties and grievances, projecting a sense of earnestness and mission, and let's face it--charming the heck out of everyone around him as he goes on to become something of a media personality.

Which is really what makes this movie so interesting. In the 1930s, Germany did not know what it was dealing with in Hitler, was fooled by his charms and facade. In 2014, no one believed that the new Hitler was real, but again everyone was duped by the facade--they all thought he was a comedian, until it turned out that he had an agenda. I found the the actions and demeanor of the character as drawn by the movie both convincing and fascinating. Watching people get suckered again in 2014 was a rather humbling experience. Look Who's Back is well worth your time--it is both entertaining and disturbing, a great character study and a convincing story. Hitler's rather comfy integration into 2014 will really give you pause to think.
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As funny as it sounds, but with a serious edge
thenachoman24 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Look Who's Back is a very funny movie that shows that Germans indeed do have a sense of humour :-) But it also has a serious message to it. While this message is not quite on the mark as the humour, it still left a strong impression on me.

Oliver Masucci is the star of the show - of course. He's both unsettling and hilarious as Hitler. There are several well-crafted scenes where his likeness to Hitler is disturbing. The director plays this likeness up to great effect. But other scenes are as funny as you'd expect. Hitler getting his photo with Chinese tourists. Hitler trying to work out how to use a computer. Hitler getting beaten up by neo-Nazis.

The concept of this movie strongly appealed to me, and it did not disappoint. But it actually went beyond what I expected to deliver a serious message: Hitler did not trick people with propaganda -- he was voted in. He tapped into deeply held and often ugly beliefs and twisted them to his own ends. This is a timely message too, with the rise of Donald Trump in the US.
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Brilliant Commentary Of Contemporary Society Through A Forties Lens
Cinnyaste8 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Look Who's Back" posits Hitler floats down - from somewhere - to land in an abandoned Berlin lot seventy years after his suicide. A bold idea backed up by a smart, funny and incisive script (that closely follows the book) delivered by a good cast. The resulting package is thought provoking, shocking and, at times, hilarious.

Initially seen a laughable street performer, a foggy Herr Hitler walks Berlin's streets searching for the Führerbunker and wonders what happened to the thousand year Reich. He takes selfies with bemused tourists, and gets into a fight with a mime who's ticked-off his thunder is taken by an icon of terror.

Hitler falls in with a hapless TV journalist who becomes his traveling companion on a cross-Germany trip to learn what's bugging people, and what they desire. They honestly tell him - believing he's an actor and not the real thing - about wages and education. Mostly, the people are vocal with despicable hate for immigrants. Here, Muslims fill in for Jews who are barely mentioned.

In a brilliant bit of dialogue, a working class German states Muslims have IQs of fifty or sixty. Hitler asks what is the average German's IQ. The worker tells him eighty. (80-89 — Below average: Can perform explicit routinized hands-on tasks without supervision as long as there are no moments of choice and it is always clear what has to be done.)

Hitler discovers TV and wonders why this technological marvel broadcasts mostly cooking shows. He quickly becomes computer-literate. Young adults latch onto him believing he's the joke du jour. Before you know it, Hitler's polemics have millions of social media hits.

He becomes a regular contributor on a very popular TV show where his nationalist speech (more passionate and even tempered versus the wild-eyed rants of yore) strikes a chord. Honestly, those who are awake in contemporary society will find grains of truth in what this monster says.

Then the Fuhrer writes a book that's the source for a film.

This multifaceted film tackles a number of important issues: the permanence of racism and xenophobia, the danger of projecting darkness onto a manipulative figurehead (eerie in the Trump era), life in a dumbed-down world, lack of personal responsibility, and much more. It's also a history lesson presenting just how Hitler rose in the Thirties.

The tone veers serious when the journalist learns, through viewing videotape, that this is no actor, this is The Hitler. No spoilers as to what transpires.

"Look Who's Back" is brilliant satire, biting social commentary, and entertaining. It's well worth a view as long as you don't mind a psychopath telling you what's wrong with society.
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A Comedy with a Serious Message
Uriah437 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This movie begins with the person of "Adolf Hitler" (Oliver Masucci) being resurrected in 2014 from the exact place where his body was doused in gasoline and hurriedly buried. As he awakens he discovers that things are not the same as when he left. However, although the Germany he knew no longer exists the ideals that he once possessed still remain and he immediately goes about assessing his new environment in order to adapt his message to the people of today. At first everybody assumes that he has merely assumed Hitler's image in order to facilitate his role as a comedian. But the more he speaks to mass audiences the more people realize that he is quite serious—and they like what he has to say. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that, although this movie certainly has its share of humor, it also contains a much deeper message which some people may not be able to understand. For that reason this film is much more than a mere comedy—it's a warning of what can happen when people allow politicians to manipulate their darker impulses in order to gain power. And Germans aren't the only people capable of falling into that trap. At any rate, all things considered this turned out to be a pretty good movie and I have rated it accordingly. Above average.
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He's obviously the same person, but his intentions are?
Reno-Rangan14 April 2016
I enjoyed the director's previous works like 'Combat Girls' and 'Wetlands'. Those were young women oriented subjects, yet filled with sensitive topics. But now he turned his focus towards the screen adaptation of a bestselling satirical novel of the same name about Adolf Hitler. Well, this is not his best work, not a bad movie either.

Quite fun to watch, but not logical, especially the basic ones. Since it mocks a most hated person in the human history, there's no issues on portraying him in whatever angle they wanted, because nobody cares. Yet the film talked some serious current issues of Germany.

This is like when 'Borat' meets 'The Dictator'. A man who wanders around a city looking for some answers. That's none other than Adolf Hitler, who wakes up in the middle of where some young kids showing their football skills for a TV programme. Then he embarks to learn where he's and what year it is. Meets a person who helps him and ultimately end up with some TV guy where they begin their journey throughout the nation making videos before landing in an actual TV show. The man who killed millions of people wants the best for Germany and its people, how he turn things around were narrated in a quite interesting perspective.

The initial narratives were like the aimless, that tells us what people think of the Adolf Hitler's return. Looked like most of them were shot like a documentary style, outside the official shooting spots. You can see lots of real people's faces were censored. We know that he wanted to be an artist, but he draws some funny sketches in this. Likewise there are many scenes about his qualities that were dragged in to make fun out of it.

Can people accept the words of one who is considered a villain. He came from a different timeline, but he quickly absorbs the situation and gives some important tips that should come into force. From the common people's perspective, it is an entertaining product, but from the political viewpoint, there are stuffs to consider severely about.

"When you have rats at home, it is called not a clown but an exterminator."

To me there's nothing controversial about this theme. When he failed, the final pages of his history book were written by his enemies. Otherwise, there's no difference between him, Alexander and Genghis Khan. Every greatest kings who ever lived on the earth dreamed of conquering the world.

I think the present world is same, except the form of conquering is changed, like some want to rule the world with their strong economy like the US and some are on their cheap industrial products like China. Like that all the other nations are on the top of the chart with something in what they're good at.

Adolf Hitler was a politician, not a king, but he had his reasons for his actions. So if we go by the rule books, nothing seems rational. To me this film was a decent entertainer, I just wanted to enjoy what it offers and I think I did. I advise the same that you should not mix up this with the reality. Because that might take us to the unwanted territory.

He's the same person who came from the past, but I was keen to know his intentions, especially what the writer intended to draw out of him. Because he's alone, not with his army, so he had no power, but his interaction with people brings up some discussable topics. I'm not a German, but it made me think when he spoke about current issues that Germany is facing. Every nation has to think about its internal affairs to improve it, you can't live forever with the past shame.

This film might be a comedy, but you can't ignore some of the points the main character talks. I felt the movie was a double strike where people can have some laughs and in other side to learn the reality of the state. This the best satirical film about Adolf Hitler I've seen after the Charles Chaplin's 'The Great Dictator'.

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Decent adaptation, but with too much meandering and pathos
Radu_A6 April 2016
"Er ist wieder da" by Timur Vermes was an huge success when it came out in 2011 and sold about 2.3 million copies. The film's admissions matched that number - but initial expectations were way higher, given that "Fack ju Göhte 2", the sequel to a highly successful high school comedy, had 7.7m admissions. Maybe that's because the film takes quite a few liberties with the book's story and style.

The book never clarifies whether Hitler is the real deal or not. The film introduces pseudo-documentary snippets of Hitler's encounters with non-actors - that's not in the book, and in fact either a reminiscence or a rip-off of the similarly themed "Muxmäuschenstill" (2004). There's less drama in the book - the film makers feel obliged to put it into the context of the rise of the political right in the wake of the refugee crisis, which feels a bit off at times, even though it may make sense in a broader context.

Most importantly, the book is mainly Hitler's assumed views of today's world, which make for the best parts of the film. But it tries hard to be more than that, a broader social critique of Germany today, which lets the plot drift too much between secondary characters who do not advance the story.

When the film takes a moral stance, it becomes kind of overbearing - especially at the end, when a collage of refugee-crisis-induced violence and barter is included to scare the audience into thinking that the next Hitler may be just around the corner. That defeats the purpose of satire. It's a good example for the German expression "der erhobene Zeigefinder", the "risen index finger", which means by trying to educate people at all cost, you end up alienating them. The book allows the readers to come to their own conclusions, which is probably the secret to its success.

The aforementioned "Muxmäuschenstill" AKA "Quiet as a Mouse" is a much better critique of "Germanism", because it maintains a steady, unflinching approach on the subject of a secret lust for leaders and order.
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A clever and an entertaining film with a great message
angel-youles29 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Look Who's Back follows Adolf Hitler who reawakens in Germany 70 years after his death. When reading this film's synopsis, I thought it was a very funny concept, that Hitler reawakens and becomes a popular comedian. I thought it was going to be a silly satire, but to my surprise it has a very deep message interwoven with a great use of comedy.

The film follows the protagonist Benimmcoach who in attempt to save his career in the media industry, finds a man in the back of one of his videos, who he thinks looks amusingly similar to Adolf Hitler, unaware that is actually Hitler. He mistakes him for a brilliant comedian who never wants break his character. He convinces his boss to give Hitler a show,this is where things start to get interesting.

During Benimcoach's and Hitlers travels, Hitler notices the dissatisfaction of the German people, and notices that their views and perceptions are not so different from his. They express dismay about the flood of immigrants coming to Germany, it is here that Hitler reassures them "We'll make Germany strong again." This combined with his old fashioned national socialist attitudes and comical remarks earns him a fan-base of millions of people, albeit there are some who find the idea of using "Hitler" for comedy appalling and a distressing reminder of the time.

Benimmcoach develops an odd friendship with Hitler, interestingly Hitler in the film is portrayed as not a bad guy, in fact, he is shown to be good, he feels strongly about helping people, including Benimmcoach. The film oddly makes you root for him and he becomes a likable character instead of the horrid villain which films usually portray, then the film reminds you just how cruel and destructive his ideals can be.

The film situates you in the place of the German people in the film, you like the character Hitler, for his comedy and his determination to help people, yet you and they are thrown back into the reality of the situation, for instance, When we witness his acts of cruelty, much like the audience of the show in the film witnesses him shooting a beloved dog because it annoyed him.

Once Benimmcoach finds out that it is not someone acting as Hitler, he really is Hitler, he attempts to get rid of him by shooting him in the chest, to Benimmcoach's surprise, Hitler reappears and says to him "You can't get rid of me, because I am in all of you." This is the moment of revelation of a deep and complex message. Hitler isn't portrayed as a vile monster because in fact he isn't, he is like everyone else. In fact it comments on his ideology being at the core of what made the man evil and destructive; this idea is emphasized at the end, where it shows archive footage of countries all other Europe, preaching hatred of Immigrants. The film's message is a powerful critique of our values, it is basically telling us that we need to reevaluate our actions. It proposes that questions "Did Hitler really leave?" and "have times changed much since? Maybe the man is gone, but the ideology lives on through us.

This film is both clever and entertaining, I would recommend it to everyone, it is does what a film essentially should do, provoke thought about our lives and entertain :)
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Brutal, brave, brilliant
bowmanblue23 May 2016
A comedy. Starring Hitler. Yes, it's a difficult premise to grasp, but bear with me. If you've watched any of the promotional material, you may be forgiven for thinking that it's akin to something Sacha Baron Cohen might do, i.e. a spoof character mingling with the general public and us observing/laughing at their reactions. That is technically true, but 'Look Who's Back' is so much more. And so much scarier.

It is a comedy. For our most unlikely of 'heroes' Adolf Hitler simply disappears from his last moments of the Second World War and wakes up in modern day Germany (yeah, I know – it's a stretch, but it's necessary for the plot). Then, the first half of the movie is basically Oliver Masucci staying in character as Hitler at all times as he wanders the streets of Germany (being filmed secretly in some cases) and then we observe the reactions of the public. If anyone doesn't laugh at the scenes with Hitler meeting a little dog or discovering the joys of the Internet for the first time then there's something wrong. It is true comedy gold.

However, the film isn't just one long collection of set pieces. It's actually got some story to it, too. The scripted portions of the film show how Hitler is treated like a crank and given his own spots on TV. This leads to him actually becoming loved as people just think that he's a comedian playing the dictator (which, of course, he is – but for the purposes of the film we have to believe that he is actually the REAL Hitler).

Both the fly-on-the-wall parts and scripted parts are equally uncomfortable. Not only do some people – basically – openly agree with what Hitler says, but the scripted parts portray an eerie sense of what could happen if the real Hitler (or someone just like him) was around today and allowed to rise through the modern day media.

I won't go into the ending as it's possibly the most pivotal part of the film. I will just say that 'Look Who's Back' is enjoyable, if very uncomfortable and in many cases horrific. I know that 'funny' and 'horrific' don't always go hand in hand, but this film manages it quite well. The scene when an old Jewish woman who actually lived through Hitler's Germany in the forties finally 'outs' the dictator for who he really is still gives me goosebumps.

You have to be in the mood for something this dark, but it is certainly an achievement of film-making and also Oliver Masucci deserves credit for daring to go out in public not only dressed as possibly the most hated man of all time, but to act like him, too.
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Brilliant and hilarious movie with the best Hitler personage ever portrayed
patrickdebruyn14 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This is no doubt a great movie in 3 ways:

1. It makes you laugh because they portrait Hitler, suddenly being among modern day people with an wide spoken political opinion. The way I see it, this type of humor is not dark, because it creates awkward and very funny scenes with Hitler used to his way of life. "Ah, ist das die fernsehe! Geeignet für Propaganda! Geubels mussen das sehen!" (Ah, Thats the television of 2014, very fit for propaganda! Geubels should see this) (Entschuldigung for my bad English and Deutsch).

2. The former unknown actor has phenomenal acting skills. He is the Jamie Vardy of the German movie industry. Outstanding performance, because I did not think anyone could portrait Hitler this hilarious and some kind of real.

3. The movie gets you thinking about Hitler's political view being all around and inside us in present society. The Hitler personage really did create some weird sympathy now and then during the film. He actually has a message hidden behind his talking about war, invading Poland and how The Ottoman Empire (Turkey) took over Berlin. Believe it or not, but Hitler must have had charming skills, because millions of people loved him 80 years ago. How easily human minds can be kept away from his INSANE point of view. The movie shows people can be mislead by charm, pity, lending a hand, making a compliment etc. My 'weakness' is obviously laughter...

What amazed me the most about this movie was that Hitler himself holds you and the people in the movie a mirror. Hitler of course wants Judenferfolgung and does not understand why we are living amongst different human races in 1 country. But the message underneath lets you think about the current social and political situation in Europe and the rest of the world.

I realized that Hitler is the number 1 person to tell us about right and wrong! Mainly because he embodies everything what is wrong. (or Der Führer, because thats how the personage wants to be called).
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Same drummer just a different beat
professorjeffreypbrown19 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The film lives on the edges of comedy / dramatic commentary but handles the question of what would Hitler be like if he came back quite adroitly. As Hitler orients himself to 2014, he gets tuned into the pressing issues of the times. After Hitler gets up to speed at to what's transpired over the decades, he sees the new world no better than when he left it, all was for not. All he sees is a world full of foolishness, triviality, and perversion, and while being toted around as a freak show to be filmed, he campaigns the people for current problems and issues, finding his purpose again. But since this is a second go round, it's going to be a bit more of a challenge to work his way up the ranks to lead the German people again. And even though the people find him entertaining, even a bit frightening, they cannot tolerate the true Hitler when he shoots an innocent little dog. But this is the new world where even evil murderers are forgiven, and he gets back in the good graces of the people again. He even makes a movie, all the time using his world- dominance view to abhor and entertain. At the conclusion, we find Germany's current issues something Hitler can use to gain power again: the Muslim invasion. The moral of the story? There will always be people in dire need of a savior, and when the people are desperate they will almost always abandon common sense for a leader who, in the long run, is almost always more of a disaster than a cure.
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Funny, but with a dark message and a warning.
sbwords17 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I came to this movie with grave doubts. A comedy about Hitler returning to the modern world hardly gripped me. But "Look Who's Back" goes way beyond a simple comedy, as it lulls you at times into believing the man was right, whilst demonstrating the power of a message delivered with force and deluded candor. The funny bits were genuinely funny, causing me to roar with laugher. However, the films real strength rests in how it portrays the gullibility of people, their desire to follow a leader, whilst suspending a degree of their humanity to get on in life. There is a great homage to "Downfall" with a replica scene of when Hitler finds out his armies are defeated and Berlin is about to fall. The most chilling scene is at the end. I won't spoil it, except to say it touches deep into the psyche of the German people, exposing a raw nerve that must hurt to this day. "Look Who's Back" is a brave film, tackling deep issues in an earnest manner. It's also very funny.
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They have ruined it as expected
samuelglockta30 March 2016
When i got the book "Er ist wieder da" as a present i was a bit skeptical. But the book was brilliant. Intelligently written, with a great story and a smart ending. The interesting parts are where you catch yourself thinking "This man is right!" and being instantly ashamed that you have just agreed with Hitler. :)

The moment i heard about that they will produce a movie i was 100% certain that they will ruin the story completely. Because of the German government movie subsidization they are unable to make any movie which is not politically correct. And if there are political incorrect parts, there is always counter propaganda in it to keep the viewers from thinking by themselves and get to their own conclusions. This mechanism makes every German movie freaking boring and predictable.

Well knowing that, i watched during the last 10 years like only five German movies. This were, out of the 500 movies which are produced each year in Germany, the flicks where i had the highest hopes in that they are not completely rubbish. I was still disappointed. The only one of them in which i was not disappointed was "Er ist wieder da". Because it was exactly the garbage, full of this second-rate actors and badly hidden propaganda, that i expected.
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