It’s now been 13 years since Group 36 disbanded and while their anarchist ways may have gone out with the Berlin Wall, there’s still the matter of that one homemade bomb that never went off. Strangely enough, What to Do in Case of Fire? plays out more like a “Scooby-Doo” reunion episode than Germany’s answer to Ocean’s 11. The bomb goes off and Group 36 is forced to reunite in order to get some pesky evidence out of the city’s heavily guarded police fortress. Thirteen years is a long time, meaning that yesterday’s anarchists are today’s parents and ad execs (in essence, Group 36 has become the very thing they used to revolt against). Sure, the use of music is as complicit as the hokey “second chances” message yet nothing here is strong enough to take away from the film’s charismatic acknowledgement and portrayal of how “some things never change.” The film suggests, both simply and sweetly, that the individual shouldn’t forget the past when making one’s present. Though Group 36’s archenemy makes for a dubious softy, director Gregor Schnitzler stages the film’s heist with very little frills. In fact, Schnitzler does a fine job contrasting the sleekness of the film’s present with the playful paranoia of the film’s past. Regardless, it’s good to see old friends come together for one maybe-not-so last hurrah.
- Columbia TriStar
- 102 min
- Gregor Schnitzler
- Stefan Dahnert, Anne Wild
- Til Schweiger, Martin Feifel, Sebastian Blomberg, Nadja Uhl, Matthias Matschke, Doris Schretzmayer, Klaus Lowitsch
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