Starring: Oliver Masucci, Fabian Busch, Katja Riemann
Director: David Wnendt
Running Time: 116 mins
Look Who’s Back (Er ist wieder da) is a German film about Adolf Hitler, who, after waking up in the 21st Century, finds himself the centre of Germany’s media attention, as the public take a shine to him as a hilarious caricature.
This is such a strange film. On the one hand, it’s a hilarious and fantastically silly road trip comedy, throwing Hitler himself into all sorts of bizarre situations that will have you in tears laughing. On the other hand, the film holds a deeply political and far more serious viewpoint below the surface, relating to recent events in Germany and around the world, which is an absolutely fascinating, if not undoubtedly controversial, way to go about a movie about Hitler coming back from the dead.
In fact, we’ll start on that, because there are a good few thousand movies that deal with the resurrection of the Fuhrer, yet Look Who’s Back is the first one I’ve ever seen that’s actually any good. Atrocities like Nazis At The Centre Of The Earth and more are the best-known style for a modern Hitler movie, so I was delighted to see a film finally manage to take the insane concept and make it work really well.
The biggest reason why the film works is because it’s just so enjoyable. Its concept is undoubtedly strange, and some of the situations that we see Hitler get himself into are beyond bizarre to watch, but the film as a whole has a brilliant sense of humour, always delighting with some brilliantly silly gags and more to make you laugh.
But it’s not just a pure slapstick movie, because the film is very, very aware of how fine the line is that it’s treading on. It’s not just two hours of Hitler getting into strange situations, but actually a good deal of satire on the history of World War 2, as well as numerous witty comments on modern 21st Century society, and of course its particularly bold take on modern politics, all of which allows for consistently excellent and intelligent humour that keeps you fully engaged from start to finish.
What’s more is that the film goes about some of its story in a very unique way. As I said, the main bulk of the story is watching Hitler travel around Germany and interacting with normal people in normal situations. Most, including one where he ends up half-naked in a dry cleaners’, are fully scripted, but then there are a lot of scenes in which the in-character Oliver Masucci, as Hitler, interacts with real people in an unscripted scenario.
On the one hand, some of these are absolutely hilarious, and add another level of comedic genius to the film that ups its entertainment factor even more. On the other, a lot of them see Hitler meeting up with various characters from the world of German politics, and that’s where things start to get a little more serious.
It’s a very bold theme to go after, and it makes for a thoroughly intriguing watch, deepening the film’s intelligence beyond a simple comedy and, particularly in its very bold ending, adds an impressive level of bite to the film as a whole. That’s not to say it won’t be controversial with some, as its political stance relates to some very recent and timely issues, but it’s still admirable to see the film using such a bizarre concept to tell such an intelligent story.
Overall, I loved Look Who’s Back. Oliver Masucci’s performance as Hitler is spot on, while the film’s sense of humour is consistently hilarious and intelligent throughout, while its deeply political central themes add another level of brains and intrigue to the whole affair, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.9.