A grim Teutonic thriller clearly influenced by Seven, this modestly accomplished genre piece is a calling card for first time writer/director Schwentke. On this evidence, his directing talents outstrip his writing abilities. Get beyond the gimmicky surface (a serial killer is skinning his victims to sell their body art on the black market) and there's nothing original in the formula of a seasoned homicide detective Minks (Redl) partnering untested new recruit Marc (Diehl). Underneath his tough exterior and volcanic temper, Minks is nursing a broken heart: he has a murdered wife and a photograph of his runaway daughter in his wallet. Marc, meanwhile, is an ill-disciplined raver who needs to learn hard truths about life. Shot in rainy Berlin blues and greys, the film has atmosphere, suspense, and three or four memorable set pieces. That said, Schwentke leans so heavily on the gross, the gruesome and the grotesque that you may not have much goodwill in reserve when he asks us to stomach the feeble lost-daughter subplot or a lazily contrived climax.
Cast and crew