Okay-ish. Bait-and-switch: Comedy to lighten the mood and pull the audience onto your side, then deliver the message. A bit on the feel-good side, but maybe it really worked out that well between the two guys.
Even lazier than vice news. I understand the circumstances of the creation might've been difficult, but what an insult. As Jackie Chan says: “Will you go into every theater and tell the audience how hard the shoot was?”
Kinda mesmerizing, mood-based rather than story-driven. Ryan Gosling is so bland, but somehow his movies always end up being very enjoyable, and his "character" somehow remains interesting.
Das Ende der Wahrheit
Who would have thought the German film industry could produce a proper thriller? Quite nicely done. A bit outmoded in terms of plot - “Agent uncovers shady weapons deals with evil country, weapons industry and politics/spooks are conspiring, he wants to get the truth out” - but the pacing is good and the actors are performing well (for German standards).
It's got some good shots. The action and combat sequences were great, but the aftermath of the café bombing had the best one: An aerial shot of the city with a plethora of blue lights blinking in the near distance, an understated way to emphasize the state of emergency. The lakeside location was a good touch, and you immediately know it was in Bavaria because the onion-domed tower managed to squeeze into the shots. Another nice one: Behrens paying Lemke a visit in his flat. Lemke just wants his cigarettes, unperturbed by the threat of physical violence, and seems so happy to find them stashed on the ledge. Only when both men have calmed down does the exposition start - that's good pacing.
Scenes of military operations, drone footage, the intersection of the civilian, politics and military, high-ranking civilians involved in military operations - seems we as a society collectively have a hard-on for these things since Sicario. But then again, I also always think “Sicario did it better” with regards to the atmosphere of dread portrayed.
What I didn't like: How the characters were just thrown at the viewer in the briefing scene. You didn't really know who was who, and to the end I still was not clear about Rauhweiler's, Vossmeier's, Schilling's or Grünhagen's position, I thought they were all some medium-ranking underlings in the section. Only after the thing (no spoilers) happens to Grünhagen and did I realize he was the president of the BND, and it seems Rauhweiler was a hotshot on some government committee on weapons oversight with real influence.
Also, German films have a tendency to use disheveled appearance and lacking personal hygiene as a shorthand for toughness, and it's not working at all. Give your protagonist a proper shave at least.
Having Global Logistics be the mysterious cabal steering everything was lazy (and having it be only German seemed even lazier), but the reveal of it being just a cog in the global security machine worked well. Sadly, the resolution and Lemke’s explanations were rushed.
But all in all, very enjoyable. And finally a mature ending! Instead of the family-friendly “evildoers brought to justice”, some proper, believable devil’s advocating and then - revenge instead of “the truth”. That's grown-up cinema. Well done.