"Exit" is a new German television movie that premiered apparently on the final day of June, but tonight it was shown during prime time here in Germany on ARD, still the biggest television channel from my country, which of course als has to do with the billions of euros people are forced to pay them every year. That is annother story though. The good news is that this film better that a lot of the other stuff on ARd most of the time, the bad news is that this does not mean that this movie here is good, just that (almost) everything else is terrible. Director Marka and writer Yesilkaya, who came up with these 1.5 hours, have worked together on other occasions in the past. They have both been fairly prolific with Tatort and also the long-running Notruf Hafenkante. Still you have most likely not come across any of their other projects unless you are a huge German film buff. Or maybe only the Gonger movie the writer worked on pretty early in his career. These two are neither super prolific nor rookies, but the fact that this film here is among their better career efforts despite not being particularly good at all says a lot about them. The cast list is also nothing really special. For ARd prime time you could expect better than Mücke and de Boer. The former is rather overrated, the latter also more attractive than versatile. But the reason they "only" got these is that this here is a film that is never an actors movie, but really only about the science fiction at its very core and the concept of it all, even if Mücke has so much screen time, is basically in it from beginning to end. The movie is also set in the future and not here in Germany, but in Japan. As a consequence, you get a handful of Asian actors in here, but they made sure that there is no action really outside in the streets, so they would not have to cast 100 Japanese actors. Those they came up with instead are the main antagonist and his bodyguards only and that is it. Actually, there's even more Caucausian characters in here despite where the film is set.
Now let me talk about a few scenes and moments that I liekd or disliked. More of the latter as the case as you can see from my rating. However, not all was bad as you can also see from my rating. The introduction with the video chat with the mother early on and what it really stood for was interesting. Also if we look at the frame with the mother showing up at the very end again with tables turned. But also how he agreed to come knowing very well he never will. So the film started a bit on a high note, but sadly it did not stay that way. As we dig deeper into the technical progress and the invention the young folks came up with, it must be said that these explanations where not really a success and never turned it all into an interesting movie. The reason may actually be that it tries so hard to make an impact that it felt desperate quickly and felt much more about presenting all the gadgets than really about telling a story that involves them and this should have been the key goal for the entire project. So the first half, first 45 minutes, did almost nothing for me I gotta say. Things got a little better in the second half, but still we have some unrealistic moments like when the protagonist is caught by the Asians and of course he manages to get away. For a while at least. The reason he got caught is his best friend and business partner who betrayed him. He is the best example for style over substance, which applies to this film on several occasions. Take his haircut, his hair color, his glasses - everything. Maybe it was meant to make him seem more memorable because the actor sure could not make the difference needed there. Clearly not the most money went into the cast here and it becomes obvious with other cast members as well. If you watch the film, you will know who I am talking about. Anyway, the amateurish aspect can also be seen on the profile page here with the cast list that is still pretty messed-up although it will be fixed at some point I suppose. Until yesterday it included nobody but Mücke if I am not mistaken. For a film that premiered months ago. Anyway, back to the movie itself. Again, like so many other times, they are sacrificing authenticity and realism (yes even for sci-fi) for a happy ending that felt so staged and forced. It's disappointing. The meeting with his mother was an okay twist, even if I was not sure I liked it initially. But it was 100 times better than the direction they were heading for the last five minutes. So yeah, as you can see from this review, this movie did not impress me. I mean I am generally not the biggest fan of the genre here, but if the quality is like that, then it's not gonna change anytime soon. Also it felt a bit pathetic how this film lost itself here and there in some Inception light sequences with the protagonist wondering (sometimes verbally, sometimes only in his mind) if he is in the real world or just in an artificial scenario. I guess this would be all then. It's not often we get German(-language) sci-fi movies and a real rarity there is one for the small screen, but if they turn out like this one here, then it can stay this way as far as I am concerned. Thumbs down. The ambition was there. The talent and execution were not.