|Lang's last German film is one of his best. Where the Mabuse of Dr. Mabuse The Gambler is a caricature/symbol of Weimar materialism and amorality, here Mabuse is a more peripheral figure; an insane and broken man scribbling his plan for the "Empire of Crime". But even as the physical Mabuse is fading away, his spirit is becoming identical with that of the times, infecting others and building towards a destruction of society, under the guise of rebuilding it in a new and transcendant form. It's no wonder the Nazi's banned this film: this is no sly parody or subtle satire, but a sincere indictment of the very soul of Nazi philosophy.
The action sequences still stand up today: the first "operation" by Division 2-B is particularly good. The art direction and casting give the film a unique look and feel, even while being unmistakably a Fritz Lang picture. Technically, The Criterion collection comes through again with a beautifully restored print (all but 3 minutes of the original German release have been assembled here). The bonus disc is also worth a rental.