Not the Schimanski of the Golden Era, but a fine chemistry between George and Waltz
The shady businessman Klaus Mandel (Christopher Waltz) spends time in Belgium prison for allegedly having set fire to a building in an insurance scam, that cost the live of an accountant. In order to get time off, Mandel offers to testify against his former partner and best friend Krieger (Matthias Redlhammer). Retired Cop Schimanski (Götz George), now living on a houseboat in Belgium, is asked to transport Mandel across the border to Germany and hand him over to the authorities there. Schimanski agrees reluctantly, but the pair – snobbish Mandel and proletarian Schimanski, who once attempted to book Mandel – make uneven travel-companions. The journey is interrupted when a pair of Romanian hit men tries to kill Mandel. Now tied together by handcuffs, Schimanski and Mandel have to find their way to safety via car, train or on foot.
"Blutsbrüder" (eng: "Blood Brothers") is easily one of the more interesting episodes of the new Schimanski-series. It is of course the old "good-cop / bad-guy, tied together by cuffs and eventually developing a friendship"-routine. The story is as predictable as it is entertaining, mainly thanks to the chemistry between George and Waltz, both excellent actors in their own rights. Like professional tennis-players they ball each other lines and cues, often with hilarious results. More than in your typical TV-Krimi, there's plenty of action, gunfire and chases, considering that Schimanski already has his man literally by the cuffs (or does he?). It was just this mentioned chemistry that was missing in many latter "Schimanskis", since none of his future partners could fill the shoes of either (then deceased) Eberhard Feik or Christopher Waltz, often reducing the Schimanski-figure to a sort of lone wolf.
It's only a shame that Waltz never played alongside George again. Waltz as a (more-or-less) struggling actor in Germany and Austria had played numerous TV-thrillers, most which were pretty forgettable with the exception of Waltz performance itself. But, as we now know, the actor would in a few years time after "Blutsbrüder" go on to far bigger things, like winning the Oscars twice (so far) and establishing himself among the leading actors of Hollywood. "From 'Tatort' to Millionaire", so to speak. The episode in context of the new Schimanski films, gets a solid 8/10.
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