Annoying “tatort” from cologne: covered in dust

"Dicker als Wasser" tells a harebrained story about a dead nightclub owner and a gangster father. The only bright spot is Armin Rohde.

Dinner with commissioner: Ralf Trimborn (Armin Rohde, left) and Freddy Schenk (Dietmar Bar). Image: WDR/Uwe Stratmann

Even when Freddy Schenk, at that point the film is only three minutes old, is handcuffed to a streetlight at night by two milksops with his own handcuffs, it’s clear: things aren’t going so well for him. In general, the Cologne "Tatort" episode "Dicker als Wasser" is full of worms, and not just between the commissioners Schenk and Ballauf.

Especially since their constant bickering seems to be nothing more than a dramaturgical trick: as if this layer had been quickly poured over the story for the sake of emotion. Because all the rest, which was created under permanent "Tatort" director Kaspar Heidelbach, is bland. From the story to the loveless way of introducing the new Commissariat Assi to the details: everything is so old-fashioned that you have to cough with dust.

To cut a long story short: Young boss of a club with the gray-haired jazz cellar name "Sax" ("popular scene host" according to the synopsis) lies strangled next to his car one night. His girlfriend had something with her ex, at the same time his best buddy, who in turn has a crook for a father. In addition, an eternally old case about this gangster father, his dead wife and a lot of money is muddled in – in terms of content, miles away from the murdered "Sax" club boss.

Scriptwriter Norbert Ehry (whose last film was the well-told drama "Momentversagen" on ARD) can repeat this story as compulsively as he likes: Nah, it remains hanebuchen.

Cologne "Tatort": "Dicker als Wasser"; Director: Kaspar Heidelbach; Screenplay: Norbert Ehry; with Klaus J. Behrendt, Dietmar Bar, Armin Rohde, Ludwig Trempte; Sun., April 19, 8:15 p.m., ARD

It’s annoying how the ex-boyfriend is shown non-stop as the daddy’s boy. It’s annoying how the story is told in an elementary school tone – although there have been many "Tatort" episodes recently that showed what’s possible. It’s annoying, this TV crime bullshit bingo. Even the great Armin Rohde in the poorly written role as the gangster’s father can’t do anything about it. But: Watching him play is the only, the very only bright spot.

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