In the Netflix construction kit, things are probably going to be very orderly. There are subjects for German series that have worked brilliantly internationally (“Deutschland 83”, “4 Blocks”). Subjects with local stars, for whom you can tailor a corresponding serial concept (Jella Haase). And subjects for topics that work particularly well internationally because of their supposedly local exoticism.

    About the GDR. Couple the whole thing with Netflix-typical bonus content such as sex, violence, 80s nostalgia and a correspondingly well-assorted soundtrack, and you have the slightly generic-looking hit series that just needs to be breathed a little life into.

    It is the great fortune of “Kleo” that this injection of life actually takes place. She comes in the guise of Jella Haase, who clearly enjoys her character of Kleo Straub – after all, she’s the perfect mix of Killing Eve bad girl Villanelle and Charlize Theron’s Atomic Blonde. In an 80s and GDR retro setting that looks all the more artificial, she is the perfect killer for the foreign secret service of the dying GDR.

    Between satire and thriller

    But when she becomes pregnant and is exposed by a German police officer (Dimitrij Schaad), she has to go. As a supposed traitor to the fatherland, she is imprisoned, loses her child and – shortly after her release due to the reunification – plans murderous revenge. So far, so hard-hitting thriller.

    Unfortunately, the HaRiBo authors (Hanno Hackfort, Richard Kropf, Bob Konrad) have the idea of ​​satirizing the whole thing. Which is why you can never be quite sure whether you’re watching a very gory comedy with a tragic main character or a dark thriller that’s unintentionally funny.

    What is certain is that “Kleo” is full of GDR/FRG clichés. In the western police station, the only police officer with the right nose for the ex-spy is bullied by stupid old men, while in the east, bad women do even worse things on behalf of the Stasi. The west is colorful as candy, while gray sadness reigns in the east. And if there is a little bit of life, then in the form of the techno kid from the west, who colonizes the wild east with ecstasy and hard beats.

    That’s a bit of a shame, because the story about the betrayal of Kleo, her revenge and an ominous red herring (pardon: suitcase) knows how to entertain. It has a good cast (especially with Jella Haase), is uncompromising at the right moments and – if you disregard the use of almost all East-West 80s clichés – really well equipped. If only it weren’t for that Netflix stable smell. This feeling that various recipes for success are lined up and ticked off one after the other. That

    here “Killing Eve” and “Deutschland 83” are crossed with each other, this impression was already imposed after viewing the first trailer. And after eight entertaining episodes – we complain at a comparatively high level – unfortunately also confirmed.

    “Kleo” is available from 19.08. can be seen in full on Netflix.


    Warrior :: Director: David Wnendt


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