Der Eisbär (1998) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • At the beginning of the movie, a man drives a vintage Mercedes saloon to a gangster boss ("Der Gesundheitsinspektor" - The Health Inspector, played by Heiner Lauterbach). The "Health Inspector" enters the car, and is irate about loads of hamburger wrappers all over the interior. Obviously, someone ate a lot of hamburgers inside his car. The Health Inspector asks the man who it was, but the man is unable to answer, since he is obvioulsy severely injured and in pain. The Health Inspector switches on the car radio, which sets off a pre-installed bomb and the car, including both occupants, is completely destroyed.

    After this intitial scene, the actual plot commences, which took place the hours before the explosion and led to it.

    Leo (Til Schweiger) works as a hitman under the code name "Eisbär" (polar bear). He has decades of experience in his job and is a total professional. He has the order to kill a night club owner (played by German singer/songwriter Peter Maffay) and disposes off the body while talking to his mother on his mobile phone. He receives the message from the Health Inspector, that the person needs to stay alive, only after he had completed the mission. Threrefore, the thugs of the gangster boss are trying to track him down. Leo finds refuge in a delapidated pub called "Pauls Eck". Coincidentally, his 'collegue' Nico (Karina Krawczyk) is in the pub as well. She also thinks she has failed at a job. Her order was to kill the Health Inspector, but she is at this time unaware that her mission ultimately succeeded in scene 1. Both believe that they are now being hunted and have little time left to live. A romance ensues between the two.

    A further plot string commences around two juveniles, Fabian and Reza (Benno Fürmann and Florian Lukas respecively). They have stolen the Health Inspecor's car from Nico, who had it to plant the bomb in the car to kill the Health Inspector. Fabian and Reza are of course unaware that a bomb is in the car. They joy ride the very fancy car through the city by night, trying to hit on some girls. When they find Nico's pistol, they commit a bizarre holdup in a fast food restaurant. Instead of money, they demand 40 "Fleischbrötchen" (hamburgers).

    Finally, all involved parties coincidentally clash outside Pauls Eck. Leo and Nico, their pursuers, Fabian and Reza, and undercover policemen. Most are killed in an ensuing shootout. Fabian and Reza are unscathed, Nico and Leo, and one of the villains ordered to kill Leo, survive severely insured. The latter is the man who drives the Mercedes back to the Health Inspector in the initial scene, leading to Nico's order to kill the Health Inspector suceed after all.

    Leo drives Fabian, Reza and Nico out of town. Somewhere on the open road (Autobahn) he lets Fabian and Reza off and hands them a bundle of money. He then drives with Nico to a remote field, where they both die from their wounds. Fabian and Reza hitchhike a lorry, overjoyed with the money they now have.

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