Cobra Verde - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cobra Verde Reviews

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July 30, 2016
The last scene in this film is the last Herzog ever shot with Kinski before his death...and probably one of the most beautiful i have ever seen on screen...The film itself isn't great by any means but if you sit through it you will be glad you watched it by the time the film gets to it.
July 1, 2016
Herzog and Kinski's final collaboration is an incoherent disappointment. Kinski - looking like a Napoleonic Iggy Pop - plays a mercenary slave trader. Fabulous locations and occasionally memorable set pieces can't excuse the sloppy camera work and indulgent direction. Popol Vuh's music is small compensation.
½ August 9, 2015
I had the same look the Prince did throughout this movie.
½ March 21, 2015
Flawed, but utterly awe-inspiring in its vision and scope. It has holes for sure, and its amoral stance will likely prove troubling for some, but it's still Herzog and Kinski giving it their all.
½ January 20, 2015
Herzog & Kinski never fails
½ October 25, 2014
Kinski muito perto de um surto dramático, fotografia soberba, roteiro oscilante--que em outros diretores costuma ser defeito--: 'Cobra Verde' é Herzog expondo seus melhores talentos.
Aguirre e Fitzcarraldo são superiores, por narrarem mitos mais poderosos, mas 'Cobra' talvez seja um dos melhores filmes já realizados sobre a escravidão (ainda que aqui o mote dos escravos sirva de apoio para contar outras histórias).
½ August 1, 2014
I am so enthralled with the madness that is Klaus Kinski under the genius that is Werner Herzog!
November 9, 2013
Poetic madness with increidible realness rarely seen in film. The images will stay for a while. Locura poetico con una verdaderante real, Los imagenes se van a quedar por un rato
October 27, 2013
Kinski looks like an old lesbian with that hair, and I couldn't swallow that anyone would be afraid of his mincing poser of a character. Herzog's direction is, as always, mind-boggling, though once again a terrible DVD transfer reduces the impact of his amazing compositions. I need to get the Blu-rays or something.
½ October 26, 2013
The final collaboration between Kinski and Herzog saw them venturing to Ghana to film the tale of an outlaw/slave trader who gets involved in the political affairs of that African country (not unlike the plot of Portecorvo's Burn/Quimada starring Brando). As usual, there is lots of emoting/glowering by Kinski (and Herzog reports that he was intolerable on the film, causing the early departure of the first cinematographer). So, things are a bit of a mess, but Herzog is working on a grand scale, with huge crowds (for example, topless "Amazonian" warriors preparing to overthrow the king in battle). So, there is a surreal over-lay, represented partly by Herzog's peculiar casting choices and/or their weird acting styles, but also by his decisions to let his camera rest on certain images or scenes (the "nun's choir"). True, I drifted off in the middle, but that blending of dream and film can't really be too far from Herzog's purpose. At the end, Kinski shows true acting prowess by getting tossed around in the surf. Of course, slavery is condemned.
August 5, 2013
Diese letzte Zusammenarbeit zwischen Regisseur Werner Herzog und Schauspieldiva Klaus Kinski war ein kompletter Misserfolg. Für eine Dekade sollte sich Herzog in den Bereich der Dokumentarfilme zurückziehen und Kinski verstarb bereits vier Jahre später.

So schwer das zu glauben ist, Cobra Verde soll auch der Höhepunkt der Spannungen zwischen Herzog und Kinski gewesen sein. Wer die Geschichten über den Dreh von Aguirre oder Fitzcarraldo kennt, sollte dies nicht für möglich halten, aber Gerüchten zu Folge war dieser Dreh der Höhepunkt - eine absolute Katastrophe also.

In gewisser Weise zeigt sich das auch im fertigen Film. Kinski wirkt für seine Verhältnisse oft gelangweilt, nicht ganz bei der Sache oder uneinig mit der Idee des Charakters den er verkörpern soll.

Die Rolle des Cobra Verde ist natürlich keine einfache, aber dass Kinski zu großem fähig ist, wenn er motiviert ist, das weiß man. Und doch, zeigt sich häufig das Genie dieser fruchtvollen Zusammenarbeit. Wenn Kinski wutentbrannt herumschreit und wild gestikuliert oder wenn er in einem wunderschönen Endbild versucht ein Boot ins Meer zu ziehen und kläglich scheitert.
Herzog ist ein Regisseur des Scheiterns und Kinski ist ein Erfüller von Träumen und Dschinn, der jeden Wunsch erfüllt. In jeder ihrer Arbeiten spielt Kinski einen kleinen Mann, der großes will und das auch irgendwie schafft, glücklich wird er dabei am Ende jedoch nie (oder zumindest nicht so wie man das erwarten würde. Daraus ergibt sich eine Spannung die allen diesen Filmen eigen ist und sich auch in Cobra Verde findet.

Und doch ist der Film etwas niedriger zu werten als andere ihrer Erzeugnisse. Zu oft tritt Herzogs Stil in den Hintergrund und der Film artet zur Kinski-Show aus. Zu oft verliert sich die dokumentarische Qualität des Filmbilds und wird zur Kinski-Show.

Die eigentliche Qualität eines Herzog-Films liegt nämlich in seinem Auge für das natürliche Sein. Herzog will Filme über Dinge machen, die ihn faszinieren - über Gestalten wie Don Lope de Aguirre oder Francisco Manoel da Silva - und wenn die schon seit Jahrhunderten tot sind, muss man sie eben von Schauspielern verkörpern lassen.
Wenn jedoch ihr Leiden und ihr Wahn in den Hintergrund treten und der Schauspieler (in diesem Fall Kinski) in den Mittelpunkt tritt, dann muss man sagen, dass Herzog sein Ziel verfehlt hat.

Nichtsdestotrotz, ist Cobra Verde ein Film, den es sich lohnt anzusehen, wenn nicht für Herzog, dann wenigstens für Kinski.
January 12, 2013
measured, shocking and human
Super Reviewer
December 11, 2012
It's Herzog, so of course.
August 11, 2012
Starts off strong in the first half hour. It gradually began to lose me over the rest of the film. What kept me involved, if not engaged, was Kinski's performance and the amazing visuals that Herzog always seem to capture.
½ April 10, 2012
Madness, just madness. Simply put, this movie is about bad men on both sides of the slave trade. Klaus Kinski is great in the role of the bandit, Cobra Verde, who was sent to West Africa to procure more slaves for a Brazilian plantation. How his success proves to be his undoing is is vividly portrayed.
March 7, 2012
Herzog + Kinski=madness elevated to brilliance!
February 15, 2012
Overwhelming enough that the filmic mistakes -- there are three shots that appear to be filmed at 15 fps by accident or as a bad experiment... and apparently all of Africa speaks perfect German -- are soon overlooked, and the psychopathery is allowed to soak in.
½ January 30, 2012
More of the same from the Herzog - Kinski collaboration and it is easy to see why this is their last film together. Kinski is aged, but this only brings out his maniac.
Super Reviewer
November 12, 2011
"Cobra Verde" may be unjustifiably obscure, but it's also no match for its heralded older brothers "Aguirre: The Wrath of God" and "Fitzcarraldo." Director Werner Herzog and enfant terrible Klaus Kinski are teamed for the fifth and last time, but the chemistry seems off.

"Cobra Verde" has a more complex story than "Aguirre" and "Fitzcarraldo," despite having a similar plot about a driven fanatic undertaking a seemingly impossible mission. Kinski plays the title character, a roaming South American bandit who takes a job at a sugar plantation, only to fall out of favor after he impregnates the boss's daughters. As a result, he is pressed to sail overseas to barter slaves from Dahomey. It is expected that he will not return alive. Settling down in Africa, he becomes embroiled in a conflict between two rival kingdoms, and his original objective fades away in the chaos.

Kinski's performance is a bit erratic -- sometimes he's a man of sullen intimidation, other times he's the feral lunatic we expect -- and Herzog fails to get inside his head, instead seeming more interested in choreographing large crowd scenes. The rites and costumes of the natives *are* fascinating, but the illusion is punctured when they speak to Kinski in perfect German. Even Popol Vuh's droning soundtrack seems indifferent next to the group's masterful work on earlier Herzog projects.

The film's quirkier virtues include a goat receiving communion and a tribal girl's choir so shockingly charismatic that one wonders why they didn't follow Ladysmith Black Mambazo to international success. Hey, they even worked topless.
½ October 18, 2011
With it's various flaws, it's easy to understand why this was Herzog's final collaboration with the lead actor, but Kinski's performance nevertheless serves up a potent confusion of documentary and fiction that has long been an essential element of Herzog's filmmaking.
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