Good German, the - Not a Very Good German

Duration: 105min
Category: drama
Available: On DVD
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I believe I am finally being proven right in my assertion that Steven Soderbergh is an overrated director. I have often found his work pretentious and have long argued that heís not a good story teller. Following Bubble, Solaris, Full Frontal, and now The Good German both critics and audiences seem to be agreeing with me.

The Good German, like a lot of Sodergergh films, is all style and no substance. He films this noirish story like it was shot in the 40s. He goes so far in his mimicry that the final scene is taken right out of Casablanca. Believe me, The Good German is no Casablanca.

He even has his actors copying the style of the time. Cate Blanchett is all Dietrich. Itís almost like she is in a SNL sketch itís that over the top. Toby Maguire, who is very charming in his earnest boy persona that works so well in Spider-man or Pleasantville just canít really pull of anything else. His character is never convincing as a scheming cad.

The whole film is a set of clichťs. I imagine itís supposed to be all wink wink, look at all we are referencing, but I found most of it tired. The story follows one unreasonable coincidence after another, again, a hallmark of the genre that just doesnít fly in this work.

Like most of his films, itís made wonderfully but there is just no heart, no soul. Soderbergh is all technique. Heís just not a story teller. As a study in the genres he is parroting, The Good German is masterful. As a movie, itís a piece of crap.

Review By: Collin Smith

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