"The Good German" - Wow, That Wasn't Good

Now, before renting the movie, I’d already read the book. I hated it. So why rent the movie, you ask? Because

  1. Bad books sometimes make good movies. For instance, “Jaws.”

  2. My understanding was they changed the story a lot, and

  3. Come on - George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, and directed by Steven Soderbergh? Sign me up!

Soderbergh made the film as an exercise in making a 1940s noir film, and for the first three to five minutes, it’s actually pretty cool. He definitely knows his source material.

But after you get past what the movie is a tribute to, you realize it’s all tribute and no movie. It otherwise blows huge amounts of ass. Clooney, my favourite actor, just doesn’t quite fit himself into the “Casablanca” style everyone else is in. Blanchette, Maguire et al. do, but then you just realize how shitty the script is. The story is appallingly ponderous and wastes scene after scene - they do depart quite a lot from the book and succeed, to my wonderment, at being even worse. As one critic put it, there’ homage and then there’s mimicry, and this movie is all the latter.

Now I know why this movie vanished from the theatres so quickly. Props to Soderbergh for trying something. He just didn’t succeed.