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Die Känguru-Verschwörung

Die Känguru-Verschwörung ©2022 X Verleih

Books, audio books, card games and, since 2020, cinema films. The kangaroo, enemy of capitalism and full-time communist, has meanwhile grown into a character that is hard to imagine the German satire scene without. Developed by Marc-Uwe Kling, who is also the kangaroo’s counterpart in his own stories, the fantasy animal addresses social, economic, political and generally societal issues that are both topical and in need of critical reflection. In March 2020, a first film was released, based on the very successful book. However, this happened 1.5 weeks before the first Covid-19 lockdown, which was responsible for the closure of all German cinemas. Accordingly, DIE KÄNGURU-CHRONIKEN were badly shaken and had to accept large losses in revenue. Nevertheless, the film secured first place among the best German theatrical releases in the same year and also landed in ninth place among the most successful films in Germany in 2020.

X Verleih and Marc-Uwe Kling now want to follow up on this success and even before the release of the previous part there were initial ideas and developments for a sequel. This time, however, it would not be Dani Levy who would direct, but the author himself. Kling also voices the kangaroo, while his character is once again embodied by Dimitrij Schaad. The book closeness of the first part is not taken up again and instead a detached story is told, which builds on the previous story, but has above all adapted to current social events.

Here’s what it’s about

After Marc-Uwe finally got the chance to go out with his crush Maria once, the dinner they had together was once again ruined by the rebellious kangaroo. But Marc-Uwe doesn’t want to give up and hopes for a chance. A deal with Maria is to decide whether a second date would follow and for this Marc-Uwe literally puts all his eggs in one basket. If the small-time artist does not succeed in finally dissuading Maria’s mother from her conspiracy theorist trip, he and the kangaroo would have to swap their dirt-cheap old flat for Maria’s new tenancy agreement, which would be tantamount to personal ruin. So the duo sets out to show Lisbeth Schlabotnik that not every injustice and political idiocy is a conspiracy. But in the process they encounter unexpected obstacles and Marc-Uwe and the kangaroo have to show full commitment.

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DIE KÄNGURU-CHRONIKEN already offered a lot of decent entertainment in its time, giving us a film full of absurdities, pub humour, adventure and even a rather convincing animation of the kangaroo. DIE KÄNGURU-VERSCHWÖRUNG follows on superbly from this and builds on the various elements even further. With a multitude of ideas in storytelling and technique, the director provides us with a varied comedy spectacle that faces little competition in the German film landscape. What cannot be overlooked is the massive criticism of the trend towards conspiracy theories, which, however, is not explicitly aimed at contrarians and corona deniers, but rather takes aim at the entire spectrum of the spread of strange ideologies that can be scientifically refuted.

Die Känguru-Verschwörung

Die Känguru-Verschwörung ©2022 X Verleih

In particular, Marc-Uwe Kling runs through a clear scheme, which is, however, hardly noticeably hidden under all the many scenes. Small comedic episodes are linked in terms of content in such a way that both the audience and the main characters go through a clear process of realisation. The first step is a merciless confrontation and an exaggerated reflection of reality, followed by the process of the emergence and spread of such theories. Finally, it is broken down that “questioning”, “criticising” and “verifying” do not mean adapting thoughts to a personal opinion and constructing facts to reinforce that opinion, but rather to scientifically and logically investigate and take into account multiple ways of looking at things.

Varied and erratic

The author makes humorous use of a wide range of stylistic devices in the German language. Pleonasms, allegories, euphemisms, hyperboles, classic irony or even neologisms – the entire spectrum of playing with German dialogue is exhausted here, even if it is nowhere near the subtle word interweavings from the books. Apart from that, we see a film that scratches at several different genres, but can’t really portray any of them successfully. In particular, an extremely adventurous ride on a trolley seems to fit absolutely nowhere in the work and serves only as an unimaginative content filler to fill the full time of a feature film. In contrast, however, is the richly detailed design of the set designs, in which allusions and gags are hidden again and again, both in the foreground and in the background, although they often cannot be fully grasped.

Die Känguru-Verschwörung

Die Känguru-Verschwörung ©2022 X Verleih

Yet DIE KÄNGURU-VERSCHWÖRUNG offers us some surprising and daring moments, which are strung together almost exclusively in the first half hour. Whether it is a sketch in the form of a sitcom performance or even an unexpectedly long black fade, which at times can even trick the audience into believing that a cinema defect is present – there is no end to the limits of cinematographic creativity. As in the first part, we also get an extremely convincing portrayal of the kangaroo. Of course, this is not based on a real animal, but we see a computer animation. When filming, actors in appropriate motion capture suits were used wherever possible. In some cases, however, the actors had to mime their role without a counterpart and only interact with air.

The end has come

While Dimitrij Schaad follows on from his performance in the first film and presents a convincing portrayal of Marc-Uwe Kling, it is above all Petra Kleinert who shines fabulously in her likeable role as the conspiracy theorist. There is an extreme amount of passion, warmth and an intense engagement with the scripted character in her portrayal. Other actors such as Michael Ostrowski, Benno Fürmann and Volker Zack, on the other hand, play rather their own artificial characters, who have merely been adapted to the local production.

Die Känguru-Verschwörung

Die Känguru-Verschwörung ©2022 X Verleih

Tragically, the actually quite biting and sharp-tongued critiques of society and politics that we know from Marc-Uwe Kling’s pen are here merely striking and superficial hints that lack a little courage. Instead of firing off a veritable fireworks display of political satire, the entire work merely focuses on the discussion of lateral thinkers and questionable ideologies and, instead of profundity, relies more on half-baked entertainment that exploits the full spectrum of jokes about conspiracy theorists. Not exactly conducive to this is the fact that DIE KÄNGURU-VERSCHWÖRUNG weakens massively, especially in the last third, and prefers to rely on insane exaggerations instead of creating a clever rounding off with well-directed punchlines.


Thus, although the sequel to the kangaroo story is a basically successful film that can surpass the previous part in terms of quality, it unfortunately still fails to exploit its full potential and prefers to entertain and be family-friendly. A second viewing of the film in particular nevertheless throws up clear quality deficiencies and gaps in content that fall victim to the many shenanigans. Although it is clear that the entire team had a lot of fun making the film, Marc-Uwe Kling should ask himself whether this is simply what his character stands for or whether, in a possible sequel, he would prefer to take aim at current events on a larger scale and with much more black humour.

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