A heavy-handed but engrossing German drama about a group of ex-radicals who try to escape the ever-closer clutches of the police after a 15-year-old bomb they planted accidentally goes off, What to Do in Case of Fire paint... more »s a questionably sympathetic portrait of people trying to erase their pasts. Occasionally the humor found in the group's difficulty grasping the changes the years have wrought erases the distasteful attempt to whitewash these anarchists' violent past. Still, it's a copout to pretend that these particular radicals never seemed to have hurt anyone seriously, and indeed, even the exploded bomb only slightly injures two innocent bystanders. It's up to the considerable efforts of a most capable cast--including Til Schweiger (Tim) and Nadja Uhl (Nele)--to draw us into their morally skewered story. --Kevin Filipski« less
Greg T. from PALM SPRINGS, CA Reviewed on 4/11/2010...
This is an excellant movie about a bunch of West
German student radicals who band back together
after one of thier former cohorts is arrested.
Loosely based around a Baader Meinhoff type group
of (mostly) former radicals, and their interactions
with each other after a long period apart.
Serious themes, but surrounded by an often humourous
story as the group bands back together to free one
of their old buddies.
This is one of those movies that you wonder (while
watching it), why no one ever clued you into it before
now. Great script, excellant direction, and a fantastic
ensemble of actors all make this into a truly "lost"
gem (at least here in the States).
Miss this one at your own risk........
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
This One Doesn't Set My Soul On Fire
Beth Fox | Los Angeles, CA USA | 02/18/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film is not a classic, but it is an interesting portrayal of young adults growing up and moving on (or not.) It is 1987. In a rundown neighborhood of West Berlin, a group in their late teens or early 20s envisions themselves to be revolutionary anarchists. A dozen years later, all but two have grown up and moved into adulthood. Those two, now over thirty, are still painting graffiti on police cars and protesting the opening of yet another Mercedes Benz showroom. Suddenly, a bomb they had set (and had forgotten about) in 1987 explodes. This event brings the past back into the lives of those who had become an advertising executive, a lawyer, a mother, and a society girl. Their interaction with those still living the revolutionary life makes plain to the latter that -- for better or worse -- they are stuck in the past.
This movie has problems. For one thing, the premise is not terribly original, as this theme has been addressed before. Additionally, these so-called revolutionaries don't inspire much sympathy. How, exactly, did these people want to improve society? The German generation of '68 was rebelling against their parents, particularly their fathers, but what precisely was the cause of the generation of '87? And why set and leave a bomb in a building that someone might enter? The characters come across more as spoiled brats than as people who really wanted to change the world for the better.
The film succeeds in its various action sequences, involving a police station and an old homemade film. Overall, I'd give this movie three stars. Worth seeing, but not a must-see. A much more compelling look at German terrorists, and their lives in East Germany, is Volker Schlondorff's "The Legend of Rita.""
Film tells national history very intelligent
Jan Hendrik Niemann | Germany | 08/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Firstly, I read all other reviews about "what to do in case of fire" and all in all I come to the following conclusion:
The movie is a veryy good movie an suprised my expectations in a good way. When I first heard about this movie, the title sounded to me like a usual dumb hollywood movie with lots of action and no significant plot. But it's a very good plot !
I think you have to be intelligent to understand this movie, you have to have a few knowledge of this particular historical time. I just can say that most of the buyers who wrote a reviw and who rated the movie as bad or just average, didn't get this well done plot at all as you can see from their textcomments !!!"
Great Anarchy Flick
Is | New York, US | 05/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're up for a movie that rages against the government and the police, you will most definetly enjoy this movie. And, what better language to do it in than German? This movie was kick-ass.
"What to do in case of fire? Let it burn!" (Well of course!) In any case, the acting is excellant, NO crappy C-grade acting (you won't die from bad acting skill in this movie). Til Schweiger is the most Bad-Ass, Smart, Superb Actor; Awesome expressions.
Quick Cap Summary: A bunch of rebel anarchists (in about there 20's) make a bomb and leave it in some abandoned house. 10 years later the rebel's are all living separate lives, (except for Tim and Hotte, still carrying their anarchist ways, living in a broken down house, refusing to leave) Two of the rebel's are well off with money (great jobs, or source of money) One of the rebels is raising two children on her own, and another is a paranoid freak who doesn't want to break any laws. When a lady is selling the house the rebels left the bomb in (no one has ever been in it for 10 years) she opens the house up to show her client around, BOOM! Off goes the bomb. Police raid Tim and Hotte house, take there film rolls and other belongings. The films contain all their rebel acts, even making the bomb, which would give the police the evidence they need to bust them (the police don't know this yet). Tim ends up grouping everyone back up and trying to get their stuff back from the police (either that, or blow-up the evidence). The mission is to not get busted and charged for attempted murder and so on.
Just watch it, it is most entertaining, there a good laughs, and good cries. Definetly worth the show!! "
D. Stichick | California | 10/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's, perhaps, one of the most meaningful movies I've see lately. It addresses idealism and what happens to those who continue to hold on to their ideals. It's also about friendship and loyalty. Excellent acting, good plot that never sags or slows."