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Kundschafter Des Friedens Torrent

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Kundschafter Des Friedens Torrent

Jochen Falk and two further former Stasi agents embark on a dangerous mission to rescue the kidnapped president of Katschekistan. But soon it becomes clear that Falk pursues his own objectives. Germany 2015. The Wall is more than 25 years down, when the once legendary GDR-Spy Jochen Falk (H. Huebchen) found himself called back on duty by the former enemy, the BND. The case: rescue the interim president and hope-springing canditate for the peaceful future of the republic of Katchekistan, who was kidnapped by separatists along with Berlin's official man on the ground, Franz Kern (J. Prochnow). The BND needs Falk's old contacts to get him back. Falk is not at all surprised by the helpless approach of the BND and names his conditio sine non qua: bringing back his old team. For the BND a tough and unwelcome call. What the BND doesn't know: Falk and Kern are heartful competetors from those days, and Falk is aiming for payback-time. Like the agents in this movie, many of the actors in this movie were reactivated. Roles for OAP thespians are pretty thin on the ground -- and have always been. In the case of Jürgen Prochnow, this is practically the first time I have seen him since Das Boot.

The plot idea is brilliant -- Germany's secret service has a serious problem in far-away "Kadschikistan" and has to reactivate a troupe of former East German agents for their "contacts in the field".

Like in so many German comedies, they sort of forgot about a small but esssential ingredient -- a good script, ideally one containing witty dialogues. So off they fly into some former Soviet boondocks where everybody speaks with excessively guttural accents, and women are treated like in a Channel 4 documentary. The former nemeses (plural of Nemesis, I looked it up) eventually rally together against a common foe, roll credits. Frankly, I suspect that German movies suffer from too much benevolent public financing, and not enough I-want-my-money-back investors. "Kundschafter des Friedens" is a German 90-minute movie, still very new from 2017 and it was written and directed by Robert Thalheim. i really liked Thalheim's previous film "Eltern", but I am genuinely disappointed with this one here. I think it is pretty accurate to call it a German version of Bruce Willis' RED as it is about a gang of seniors who were really successful back in the day in their respective jobs that had a lot to do with secret missions, surveillance and governmental responsibility. There is also an occasional touch of German history in here, but it never feels really authentic or relevant and just thrown in for the sake of it. This is a criticism that also applies to other areas of the movie. There are definitely serious moments, but honestly I found it very difficult to take them seriously, such as doubts about fatherhood (the burning note shows us that nobody really cares about the importance of this matter, embarrassing), a scene when one character tries to get a transmitter into a target person or just the entire liberation plot. One reason may be that it is honestly all extremely absurd and that people are cracking jokes from start to finish.

About the cast: Henry Hübchen is the lead actor and he is decent I guess. He does not have too much comedy to work with and this is fine as drama is his bigger strength and he is elevating the material on some occasions. Still he is not good enough to make it work eventually. The script is just too weak for that overall. The two main male supporting actors are Michael Gwisdek and Thomas Thieme, even if they randomly disappear during crucial segments of the film. I personally never liked Gwisdek much and this film does not change it at all. He is basically throwing punch lines at us all the time and beyond cracking jokes there is nothing to his character. This is also because the actor almost always goes over the top with his line delivery and it is truly embarrassing. As for Thieme, I am quite a fan. I liked his introduction here, which was one of the rare funny occasions of the film, and he has some more solid moments throughout the film. But he does not really have the depth to his character or screen time to truly make an impact. The perfect example of these two is really their last scene together, everybody applauds Gwisdek's character, but Thieme is really the one who did it. But the worst, maybe saddest was honestly Winfried Glatzeder, an actor with a prolific past who has been struggling recently with finding roles and ended up in the Jungle Camp. His scene where his character was begging the other guys to join them because he still has it in him almost felt as if Glatzeder was begging the other actors to get more screen time. It felt extremely awkward I must say. Anyway, even if he disappeared quickly, he still had he epilogue scene during the credits.

The only real female character in here is played by Antje Traue. What can you say about her? She certainly has some impressive films (foreign productions) in her body of work and she was quite stunning physically, there is no denying. The performance was solid I guess, nothing too bad or good, but definitely not on par with her other attributes. They also did not do her much favors in terms of the script. First she is somewhat built-up as a potential love interest to Hübchen's character, then he suddenly could possibly be her dad. They sure wasted her a bit in terms of writing and same goes for Jürgen Prochnow, a genuinely talented character actor who has weak material to work with here as well. And the film lacks in the writing area in general. It wants to be taken seriously at times, but the plot as a whole as well as certain details just don't make any sense. Can Thieme's character really walk out with (what they think is) a bomb at the end? Is the paternity plot twist anything above television soap opera level? Is it really realistic to depict one of the commanding officers of the BND as a snitch? And there is a lot more than that. I don't think this film works from a comedy perspective or drama perspective at all. It has ambition and occasional good moments in both areas, but eventually it does not elaborate convincingly in either. I give "Old Agent Men" a thumbs-down. Not recommended.


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