Visually fantastic German expressionism blended with the film noir genre. It has some good cliffhanger-moments and set-pieces too like the shooting down of a man in a crossing and the attempted drowning of the romantic pair. Impressive car chase at the end. It even has a returning character from "M" in it. A fun film to see.
If there is a cinematic treatise of evil with philsophical ramifications that defy enumeration it must be this one. Lang's second Mabuse film stretches the mind and the senses from the technological will-to-power to the Weimar climate of irrationality examining evil as a (real in its effects) simulation. The wealth of metonymies is beyond belief culminating in a fabulous rescue sequence in the flooded Mabuse room.
A testament itself to the vision of Fritz Lang, whose detailed exposition on the notion of evil foresees the motivations behind every terrorist attack happening in the world today, from the Khmer Rouge to Al-Qaeda and ISIS. The "Herrschaft des Verbrehens" benefits itself from our growing distrust, xenophobia and need for isolation. Ultimately, an empire of crime is born out of the tyranny of fear.
The only Lang I have seen that can rival and perhaps even exceed M in its creativity and ideas. The death of Kramm is the greatest murder scene ever put on film. It feels like listening to an orchestra and then having all the violinists stop abruptly. Finally, my comparison with Mabuse as an all-seeing god in the first film become even more persuasive since his ideas are more or less the equivalent of the bible here.
It's films like this that spoil me from being able to watch today's mainstream Hollywood product. They just don't make 'em like this anymore...If anyone did make a film this good today, I would be raving about it, telling everyone to go see it. But this is 82 years old, so I guess there's no point. My friend said "I heard the new Tom Hanks movie is great, why won't you go with me? Don't be a snob." I just couldn't...