Der Knochenmann [The Bone Man] (2009)

Der Knochenmann
Director: Wolfgang Murnberger
Writer: Wolfgang Murnberger, Josef Hader, Wolf Haas
Based on: Wolf Haas‘ novel
Sequel to: Komm, süßer Tod, Silentium
Cast: Josef Hader, Josef BierbichlerBirgit MinichmayrChristoph LuserPia HierzeggerSimon SchwarzDorka GryllusStipe ErcegIvan Shvedoff
Seen on: 13.8.2015

Simon Brenner (Josef Hader) is getting by. With the help of Berti (Simon Schwarz) he can earn a little money by repossessing things. When Berti sends him to find a guy and his car, Brenner ends up at an inn in the middle of nowhere looking for him. The guy’s car is there, but nobody admits to knowing him. Sufficiently intrigued by circumstances and with nowhere else to go, Brenner decides to stay for a bit. Despite the foreboding presence of owner Löschenkohl (Josef Bierbichler) whose daughter in law Birgit (Birgit Minichmayr) may have something to do with Brenner’s interest. But a missing guy is only the beginning of the weird events at the Löschenkohl inn.

While the Brenner movies continue their increasing technical proficiency here, regarding plot and script Der Knochenmann is the weakest movie in the series so far.


I thought that Der Knochenmann was, unfortunately, lacking in the customary dry sense of humor and the witty comments. They were not entirely gone, but generally Der Knochenmann feels more subdued in tone and more somber – and the movies have been dark enough so far, even with their sense of humor, so without jokes it becomes quite dire.

Add to that the plot revolving around sex worker Valeria (Dorka Gryllus) was just a stupid male fantasy of the rich guy who gets the sex worker from the poor neighboring country out and thus saves her. No matter that Valeria is less than sold on the idea and it needs some major convincing and overruling of her doubts and concerns. The entire thing is about the guys and not her and it’s annoying. It’s especially galling since they handled (systemic) abuse nicely in the last Brenner movie. As long as Evgenjev (Stipe Erceg) was still involved in the plot, I could live with it, but after he’s gone it just spirals away.


Additionally I thought that the romance between Brenner and Birgit was a little weird (I guess you just can’t have a Brenner movie where women don’t throw her panties at him), but Minichmayr is amazing and somehow makes it work. Generally the cast was great. No surprise anymore when it comes to Hader, but I particularly liked the dynamic he builds with Bierbichler. The relationship between Brenner and Löschenkohl, their respective characters, is the best thing about the movie altogether.

The movie still has its moments, funny and otherwise. And there is barely any voice-over which is also an improvement. But looking at the film in its entirety, I can’t help but think that it is a little lackluster.


Summarizing: Okay, but not great.

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