Cobra Verde - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cobra Verde Reviews

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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.
August 20, 2011
I did not really like anything in this film. I don't think the film gave reasons on why Kinski's character was doing what he was doing. And, especially why people were scared of him. The script was sketchy, most of the film was uninteresting.
½ August 10, 2011
A very strong and unique offering from Werner Herzog and the late great Klaus Kinski. This is unfortunatly the last time they collaborated but its just as strong as their other films. Kinski's screen presence demands attention. I can watch this guy go grocery shopping for six hours and be totally be entertained. And Herzog recognised that presence in him and thats why its with Herzog's films that Kinski really makes a memorable character whos every move is like watching a dangerous ballet. Ive seen tons on Kinskis other films for other directiors and there are only a handful who truly recognised his talent. Jess Franco being one..
The story here is confusing at times but story is usually second only to Herzogs visual storytelling abilities. A second veiwing is definaly a must for me to fully grasp all the events that took place. Cobra Verde is shocking at times and there are some incredibly strong images of captive slaves that haunt you long after the film has ended. This is a definate recommendation for anyone who appreciates these two guys work together.And for those that dont, i must really suck to be you.
July 10, 2011
Herzog and Kinski's last film together is a stunning and fitting end to a legendary collaboration. It's the sort of film that I can't imagine being made nowadays, and certainly couldn't be made without the combined creative insanity of those two. Kinski plays another in a long line of characters who are entirely unlikeable and yet utterly enthralling. Though his actions are all deplorable, he demands a begrudging respect in much the same way a salivating grizzly would. We follow Francisco from his start as a loathed Brazilian bandit all the way to his unlikely end as a slave baron in Africa. As usual, Herzog doesn't spare humanity's ugliest moments, while paradoxically admiring a man who does what he must to survive and thrive in impossible circumstances.
June 15, 2011
BELLISSIMO! Kinski sempre super, poi stranamente rispetto a quanto fa di solito Herzog quě racconta una storia, una bella storia come sempre con un contorno di paesaggi e volti e persone e in questo caso anche musiche fuori di testa (la scena con cui si chiude il film č emblematica, le ragazzine nere che cantano e ballano).
½ June 7, 2011
An odd but moving film that could be called a powerful examination of the slave trade if the film overall were more concerned with showing the evils of slavery. As it is, Cobra Verde becomes an interesting story of one brave, intelligent, and rather insane man, epitomized by Klaus Kinski in a performance that manages to capture this man's power and ferocity without dominating the entire picture.
½ May 6, 2011
Kyllä Herzog enemmän kärsii kuin hyötyy Kinskistä, tässäkin olisi voinut olla hyvä leffa orjakaupan viimepäivistä Afrikassa, mutta tulos on Kinskin performanssitaideteos, jonka taustanauhana on ohjaajan visio. Kinski ei vaan ole uskottava tarinaa kuljettavana näyttelijänä, kun taitojen laajuus on sekä syvä inho, että maailman silmittömin raivo eikä mitään siltä väliltä.
March 18, 2011
Made with outstanding and far-reaching scope. This is how historical epics should be presented. It is, like Aguirre and Fitzcarraldo, an uncompromising and in-depth portrayal of humans' lust for power. An over the top performance by Kinski but you would expect no less. Certainly the film would be less without him.
½ March 6, 2011
Menu/ Versions/ Version originale anglaise stĂ (C)rĂ (C)o, ok, je clique⦠Quoi ? Je reclique Menu/ Version/ et suis forcĂ (C) de constater quâ(TM)il y a bien Ă (C)crit « Version originale anglaise stĂ (C)rĂ (C)o ». Un espoir fou me traverse, ce bon vieux Kinski, il pouvait bien jouer en anglais Ă  force non ? Et bien non, la « version originale » est en fait entièrement doublĂ (C)e⦠mal doublĂ (C)e⦠vraiment mal doublĂ (C)eâ¦

A partir de lĂ  et bien hĂ (C)las le film est foutu, toute sa grandeur, toute sa noblesse sâ(TM)effondrent Ă  chaque rĂ (C)plique doublĂ (C)e Ă  lâ(TM)arrache, sans âme, sans rien de ce qui fait que je vĂ (C)nère Klaus Kinski. Pourtant on avait bien envie de sâ(TM)intĂ (C)resser Ă  lâ(TM)histoire de ce brigand nĂ (C)grier qui chamboule tout sur son passage, entrainant le dĂ (C)shonneur des jeunes femmes et la chute de royaumes. Et pourtant Herzog nous dĂ (C)livre ses scènes superbes et fortes oĂą il arrive aussi bien Ă  capter la puissance du jeu de Kinski quâ(TM)Ă  livrer un regard tenant presque du documentaire qui renforce le rĂ (C)alisme du film. Mais hĂ (C)las Cobra Verde est dĂ (C)finitivement châtrĂ (C) par son doublage impardonnable.
½ February 2, 2011
As depictions of the slave trade go, this is first class.
½ January 26, 2011
Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski's fifth and last motion picture together. Not as good as their prevouis movies, but it's sure are the same insanaty from Kinski as always. My favorit scene in this film is when Cobra Verde leads and army of slaves to defeat the barbarian king, and the crowd suddenly stops because a snake is front of them and Kinski is just trow it away with such wrath and the crowd is running.
January 19, 2011
Herzog gives us a mythic, rich landscape full of strange creatures and customs and he puts Kinski as the erratic centerpiece.
½ January 18, 2011
This may be the weakest Herzog/Kinski collaboration, but they were a pair that could never cease from bleeding perfect symbiosis (at least onscreen). The locations in this film are magnificent.
½ December 16, 2010
Il tema è tipico di Herzog: il sogno grandioso di un uomo enigmatico si scontrerà con le regole del mondo e della vita. Il senso dii libertà e oppressione sono equamente rappresentati, come in ogni meraviglioso film girato da W.H.
November 22, 2010
This is the fifth and final Herzog and Kinski collaboration. It may not be as good as Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo, but it's still a great movie that you should see.
½ September 1, 2010
How could Klaus Kinski, ranting and raving, wolfishly brandishing a rapier, gallivanting about bare-breasted African warrior-maidens fail to be entertaining? In truth, the fifth and final collaboration between Werner Herzog and the notoriously irascible Polish actor is not their strongest (that remains Aguirre: der Zorn Gottes); however, it is undeniably thrilling - with that signature, sun-drenched, phantasmagoric atmosphere only Herzog can deliver. (Examine, particularly, the bizarre, skin-crawlingly ominous scene with the crabs in the abandoned fortress, the seduction in the limpid jungle of Don Octavio's daughters, and the final portrait of the failed escape from the beach.) King Ampaw, Jose Lewgoy, and King Nana Agyefi Kwame II of Nsein create a typically bizarre cast, and Viktor Ruzicka's cinematography is magnificent in its meandering, probing, and uncomfortably penetrating gaze. A strange masterwork - fitting for the end of one of cinema's finest collaborations.
Super Reviewer
½ August 13, 2010
The problem with this film is the main character. Kinski does a great job but he feels two-dimensional and seems to go with the flow rather than having any actual goal - ala Forrest Gump. Fortunately, Herzog's skills as a director are in full flow here and there are countless lingering shots of absolute beauty that seem to strain the camera lens as he tries to encompass the entire scene. Visually, it's a wonder, but it lacks a soul.
August 11, 2010
...and so it came to this. This would come to be the last film Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski made together. Kinski had just made Kinski Paganini (1989), and was apparantly still in character from that film, and it marred the production of this one. It's the weakest of their collaborations, with little of the grandeur and ambition of Fitzcarraldo, it's still well shot though. This has Brazilian rancher Francisco Manoel da Silva (Kinski), who is also the bandit Cobra Verde, he gets a job with sugar baron Don Octavio Coutinho (José Lewgoy), and Silva manages to impregnate all 3 of his daughters. As punishment, instead of death, Silva is sent to re-opening the slave trade with Africa, which Coutinho knows will be an impossible task. But, Silva somehow succeeds, negotiating a deal with the tyanical King Bossa Ahadee of Dahomey (His Royal Highness Nana Agyefi Kwame II of Nsein), and exchanging slaves for new rifles. Silva sends slaves over the Atlantic to Brazil, but power gets to Silva's head, and he ends up leading the native women to try and kill King Bossa. Based on Bruce Chatwin's 1980 novel, The Viceroy of Ouidah, it's a very episodic film, sketchy and unsure, but it does have good moments with some scenes that stay in the memory. It brought down the curtain on one of the best actor/director unions of them all, and maybe the most dangerous too.
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