Invincible (Cert 12)

By ALEXANDER WALKER, Evening Standard

After Charlotte Gray, a new FilmFour disaster. No, worse: embarrassment. Werner Herzog's unwise sortie into Nazi Germany's showbiz politics - done incomparably better in 1981 by Istvan Szabo in Mephisto - deals with the real-life Hitlerite hypnotist Hanussen (Tim Roth, all oily opportunism) who aspired to be the Fuhrer's Minister for Prophecy.

He engaged a blacksmith from a Polish village - played by Juoko Ahola, an actual muscleman - and built an act around him as Siegfried the Gladiator, world's strongest man and prototypical Aryan ubermensch. In mid-act, the giant declares himself a Jew and turns into a golem-like upholder of his faith.

The film is confusion throughout. Nothing is plausible; much, unintelligible. Working in the English language, or consenting to risible dubbing that makes a market square in a Polish shtetl sound like a South Kensington department store, Herzog exhibits his talent at its weakest.

How come he made such eccentric marvels as Aguirre, Wrath of God or Fitzcarraldo? If only we could ask the late Klaus Kinski.

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