After four “Bibi & Tina” films, Detlev Buck adapts the short story “The Key” by the celebrated writer Ferdinand von Schirach and uses it to create a crazy trip through the Berlin milieu. For what reason ASPHALT GORILLAS It’s a lot of fun despite lots of outside influences, that’s what we reveal in our review.
The Plot Summary
Atris (Samuel Schneider) and Franky (Jannis Niewöhner) made their way through life as children with all sorts of crooked things. The two are still friends, but have lost touch due to their different paths in life. So Franky shows up at Atris’ door one day in a fat Lamborghini, the two of them could get a lot of money. Franky wants to pull off a counterfeit money deal and needs the help of his old friend. However, he not only has a huge crush on the part-time crook Bettina (Ella Rumpf), but also has little experience with larger deals. In addition, his boss El Keitar (Kida Khodr Ramadan), to whom Atris has a lot of debt, is breathing down his neck. When the deal goes through, events suddenly take over and not only the friendship of the two men is at stake, but also the lives of everyone involved…
Movie explanation of the ending
Ferdinand von Schirach’s short story collections “Crime” and “Guilt,” which are based on real court cases, have been very successfully filmed for USA television in recent years. The new episodes in particular, all with Moritz Bleibtreu in the leading role of the lawyer Friedrich Kronberg, once again dealt in a complex manner with the question of when someone can be held accountable for an act; So when – true to the title – he is to blame for something. The short story “The Key” also comes from the “guilt” collection, but Detlev Buck (“Measuring the World”) It was obviously far from venturing into difficult directorial territory like his TV colleagues Hannu Salonen and Maris Pfeiffer. At the end of his neo-noir milieu study entitled “Asphaltgorillas”, the focus is no less on the question of guilt, but the path to get there is not oppressively dramatic, but gradually completely outrageous. However, this should never be understood as a negative thing. “Asphaltgorillas” is a crazy experience, a highly ambitious genre clash and a hodgepodge of outstanding staging ideas that at no point has anything to do with what is often understood in this country as “USA (youth) cinema”.
Atris (Samuel Schneider) and Marie (Ella Rumpf) are part of a project in which the dog Platon also plays a role.
“Asphaltgorillas” doesn’t skimp on borrowing from well-known genre representatives: there’s a bit of “Only God can judge me” in it, “John Wick” is also there and floats above everything – not least thanks to Jannis Niewöhner’s engaging performance (“Youth without God”) as a Jordan-Belfort blend – always a touch of “Wolf of Wall Street”. However, “Asphaltgorillas” did not become a scenic patchwork. On the one hand, the film clearly bears the extravagant, visionary signature of Detlev Buck, but on the other hand, the balancing act between the references works very well. Stylishly choreographed action scenes don’t simply copy the performances of Keanu Reeves or Charlize “Atomic Blonde” Theron. They merely serve as a role model that Buck approaches confidently with an “I can do that too!” attitude. The gradually increasing accumulation of bizarre things, which are sometimes hilarious, sometimes really threatening, is photographed by Buck’s regular cameraman Marc Achenbach (“Bibi & Tina – total chaos”), which creates a neo-noir look that is familiar from the best works of Nicholas Winding Refn. By the way, it’s about time it was called neon noir!
The situation, which has been highly tense from the start, escalates with every appearance of more cartoonish-looking contemporaries until “Asphaltgorillas” finally reaches an abnormal pace on the home straight. There is no idle here. Instead, the script, also designed by Detlev Buck, is full of absurd obstacles that the protagonists have to overcome. These include dogs stuffed with laxatives as well as complete proles strutting around eccentrically in leopard coats; From a narrative point of view, it all still makes sense because every character, no matter how absurd they seem, has their own place in the story and doesn’t just appear in the film because of their character itself. From a narrative point of view, it ultimately boils down to more than just the question of when the scenery actually escalated and who is to blame for the fact that not every character ends the film alive. On the other hand, it’s simply a matter of how the coup can be completed under the given conditions – or not. This complex preparation does justice to the material and the original at all times and the fact that in the end you don’t know whether you should laugh or be shocked fits perfectly with the concept of “guilt” stories, which are always aimed at conflicting feelings.
Franky (Jannis Niewöhner) has a completely different idea of how Oxana (Stefanie Giesinger) should invest her father’s money.
The ensemble that Detlev Buck was able to hire for “Asphaltgorillas” is remarkably well-stocked in terms of its collection of stars and those who are well on their way to becoming such. While Jannis Niewöhner, who has long since established himself in acting, delivers the most eccentric and equally best performance of his young career, Samuel Schneider is also convincing (“Exit Marrakech”) as a decidedly calm counterpart, just like “Tiger Girl” star Ella Rumpf as a self-confident, rebellious shoplifter. Among the long-established actors such as Georg Friedrich (“Bright Nights”) as a confident cliche dealer, Kida Khodr Ramadan (“Only God can Judge Me”) as gang leader El Kaitar, who is not stingy with his potential for violence, and the secret scene-stealer Octay Özdemir (“Bibi & Tina – total chaos”) As El Kaitar’s completely unplanned henchman, everyone here is full of enthusiasm; There are only small failures among the newcomers. Model and Instagram star Stefanie Giesinger, for example, visibly struggles with a fake Russian accent, making a primarily wooden debut that might not be so wooden if Giesinger’s character didn’t come from Eastern Europe. But you wouldn’t have recognized the full-time poet Julia Engelmann, who is ridiculed by many, in the role of a pregnant rapper’s wife. Despite her tiny appearance, she recommends herself for larger acting tasks in just these few seconds. Detlev Buck always corrects small blemishes in detail, which gives “Asphaltgorillas” beautiful corners and edges that some will love, others will hate.
Conclusion: For his interpretation of Ferdinand von Schirach’s “The Key”, Detlev Buck uses various motifs from current film events, but at the same time he always gives them his own touch and turns them into a highly entertaining milieu study, somewhere between “John Wick” and “The Wolf”. of Wall Street” and “Only God can judge me”.
“Asphaltgorillas” can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from August 30th.