Everyone probably dreams of a learning curve like this: after the completely messed up zombie comedy “Potato Salad”, the direct successor is presented POTATO SALAD 3 – THE MUSICAL (de. Kartoffelsalat 3 – Das Musical, 2020) as a cheeky, self-referential teenage comedy with catchy songs and the heart in the right place. We reveal more about this in our review.
One of the most famous supporting actresses in the film is Jasmin Wagner, formerly Blümchen.
The plot summary
Torge’s school has recovered from the zombie virus many years after the terrible events. But now there is a new problem: the high school is threatened with closure because it is losing more and more students to the competing elite school. A solution has to be found in order to become attractive again. Student Mia (Lea Mirzanli) suggests staging a musical. And because the zombie epidemic that has just been averted is ideal for a theater adaptation, everyone quickly agrees to put on “Potato Salad – The Musical”. But that’s just where the problems begin, because while the highly committed Mia does her best to get her classmates excited about the project, there are also people who wouldn’t really like a successful performance. And then there’s the new Kim (Marta Shkop), who really turned Mia’s head. Can the musical prevent the school from closing?
Potato Salad 3 – The Musical Movie Review
On the increasingly popular online film rating platform Letterboxd, Michael David Pate’s (“Heilstätten”) YouTuber slapstick “Kartoffelsalat” from 2015 currently has an average rating of 0.9 out of a possible 5 stars. The even more popular Internet Movie Database (IMDb) gives it a total of 1.3 out of ten possible stars. And in general, you can hardly find anyone on the German-speaking Internet outside the target group of die-hard internet star lovers who would like to give the zombie stuff about an undead virus breaking out at a high school a halfway nice response. The internet was full of reviews. Positive reviews, for example on Amazon, often contain tons of irony. The PR department behind “Potato Salad” later even tried to take advantage of this, defending itself with the supposed dead-end argument that the film was not made for the critics but for the fans, and even flirted with placement in the “IMDb Bottom.” 100”, i.e. the 100 worst-rated films on the website in which “Potato Salad” was temporarily featured. That’s one side of the medal. The other side shows that a total of almost 400,000 viewers were willing to buy a cinema ticket for the film. This is undoubtedly a success for a completely independently financed production. Hardly anyone asked for a “Potato Salad” sequel, after thinking about it for a long time – and considering the fact that in the first part, despite all the points of attack, passion and fun in the project always shone through – but it was quite consistent. And so with “Potato Salad 3 – The Musical” (no, there is no second part, but second parts are never good anyway!), a sequel is coming to the cinema that the makers deserve. Because the jump in quality from part one to two is huge, whether you believe it or not.
Alongside Torge Oelrich (aka Freshtorge), Lea Mirzanli plays the main role in “Kartoffelsalat 3 – Das Musical”:
It almost doesn’t matter what point of criticism you make about part one, the fact is: “Potato Salad 3 – The Musical” does it three numbers better. This starts with purely technical aspects. While in part one you were sometimes unsure whether you were seeing unedited material from the shoot or the finished film due to the blurring and poor lighting, “Potato Salad 3” simply looks like a (cinema) film from the start out of. But that’s no surprise when you look at the man behind the camera. Konstantin Freyer has already provided German productions such as “Abikalypse” , “Snowflake” and “The Last Meal” with pictures suitable for the screen, which are usually in no way inferior to those from “Kartoffelsalat 3”. In the sequel, the dark, vague shots from “Potato Salad” become bright, colorful pop images that immediately locate the story in its musical logic, somewhere between “Bibi & Tina” (by Detlev Buck) and the “High School Musical” films. For this reason alone, the sequel is significantly less vulnerable and appears to be completely well thought out in terms of staging. Even if the setting is suddenly changed for individual singing numbers (musical logic and all!) so that the villain can belt out her villain number in a recreated dungeon, “Kartoffelsalat 3” maintains a consistent look. And since the set pieces are preferably based on different locations (auditorium, sports hall, classrooms…) within a single school, the story, which focuses on just a few characters, remains stage-wise intimate.
This continues throughout the story. Yes, “Potato Salad” also had a plot. It was about Leo Weiss, played by Torge Oelrich, who, as an outsider at his school, suddenly becomes a hero when a zombie virus breaks out at his high school. Admittedly, even unironically produced zombie horror pretty much runs itself at a certain point; It’s mostly about evil undead targeting harmless people. You know that. But in its hybrid function of FSK-12-suitable undead “horror” and schoolboy slapstick, pretty much nothing about “Potato Salad” worked. What was particularly irritating about the film was the outdated wordplay (someone is sitting in a corner nibbling on a broom when someone says the saying “I’ll eat a broom!”) as well as all sorts of jokes that miss the target group were then also performed by actors who made you wonder whether the kids in the cinema even know people like Otto Waalkes or Maddin Schneider these days. As impressive as it is what kind of ensemble the makers got together back then, the decision to only rely on young actors and YouTubers, with the exception of Martin Semmelrogge, is now proving to be just as strong. And the flat anti-jokes – with the exception of two or three dispensable fart gags – were simply left in the closet.
Especially Lea Mirzanli (“Spotlight”) The protagonist Mia is extremely strong in singing and not only has everyone’s sympathy on her side because of this, but also because – in contrast to one or two (preferably long-established) supporting actors – she delivers a reserved, authentic performance far from any overacting. And as if, in retrospect, one wanted to apologize for the handful of inappropriate gay gags in the first part, the script (Michael Lütje, Michael David Pate, Hauke Schlichting and Emilia Wellbrock) also gives it an absolutely warm-hearted one (and the homosexuality factor is never an issue). or even problem-causing) love story with school newcomer Kim (Marta Shkop). The up-tempo number “What are these feelings?” performed by Mirzanli is the big highlight among the songs. But the only thing that stands out negatively about the songs is that the lyrics here and there are a little awkwardly rhymed. In addition, the playback (at least in the unfinished version we saw) is clearly recognizable as such. This can usually be compensated for by the high catchy potential of the pleasantly produced and overall very solidly performed pop numbers. And in between there are always little observations that are fun. For example, a good Phil Laude in a small role as a psychotherapist or a trio of critics who want to trash the musical before it even starts. It’s nice that in this case you don’t have to do that even if you’ve seen the film to the end.
Conclusion: You should have a soft spot for harmless teen musicals and not every gag is exactly where the makers probably imagined it would be. But apart from that, “Potato Salad 3 – The Musical” scores points much more often than it loses. The songs are catchy, the main actors act and sing convincingly and the film – unlike part of one – really looks like a cinema. Many a Hollywood star probably dreams of such a learning curve.
“Potato Salad 3 – The Musical” can be seen in USA cinemas from January 30th.