Friday, 16 September 2011


Alarm für Cobra 11 - Die Autobahn Polizeï, action concept's flagship series, started its fall season yesterday night on German channel RTL with its traditional 90-minute premiere.

72 Stunden Angst opens the 30th season of Alarm für Cobra 11 - Die Autobahn Polizeï, launched in 1996. Semir Gerkhan (Erdogan Atalay) and Ben Jäger (Tom Beck) are in a professional purgatory as bicycle cops before quickly jumping back into their demolition business. They chase the Hummer baddies aboard nothing less than KITT from the original Knight Rider, for the greatest enjoyment of Semir and some perplexity of his partner. Gerkhan is not Michael Knight and there's soon nothing left of the legendary car. So the duo goes on their ride in a bus full of pensioners and devastate the show's usual quota of vehicles before ruining the mood of their Chefin, Polizeioberrätin Kim Krüger (Katja Woywood).

Semir has a bigger problem than the wrath of his boss when the case of the day leads Ben and him to a woman of his past. She has a 9-year old daughter and he's her true father. Alarm für Cobra 11 never pretended to be a fly-on-the-wall documentary about German motorway cop patrols and suspension of disbelief is not even relevant here. Drug mastermind Seytan, uber-villain of yesterday's 90-minütiger Pilotfilm (as the specials are called), is a cross between Keyser Söze and Roger Rabbit's Judge Doom. Conspiracy theorist Oliver "Sturmi" Sturm, played by comedian Oliver Pocher, returns for the third time and manages to be cringy not only for his cop buddies but for the poor viewers too.

At its very best, Cobra 11 was smartly mixing blockbuster high-octane action with good cop stories. Written by Ralf Ruland and directed by Heinz Dietz, 72 Stunden Angst remains watchable if you just wish to forget your daily troubles for 90 minutes but the formula has definitely become tiresome. In spite of the destruction of the police station, the moving death of a beloved character, and a trip to Istanbul.

Too bad you can't retire early anymore these days. (In German)

No comments: