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A veteran homicide cop blackmails a new police recruit into joining his semi-vigilante unit and working on a gruesome serial killer case, in which the victims have valuable tattoos flayed from their corpses. When the apparent murderer commits suicide, things should be wrapped up, but a larger conspiracy continues...


Germany produces its own version of Seven, with a hint of The Silence Of The Lambs, with this eerily washed-out crime thriller by Robert Schwentke. It echoes the world-weary veteran/eager recruit pairing that worked to such effect in David Fincher's film, with the two gumshoes on a hunt for a killer who is flaying the elaborate tattoos from their victims' bodies.

The sullen visuals set an oppressive mood throughout, and there's much fun to be had in spotting Schwentke's influences, but the movie lets itself down a little by having the detectives rely on good fortune rather than genuine police work

Schwentke goes for a Seven-like grey, rainy style to match plot licks borrowed from Hollywood serial killer puzzle pictures, but makes the odd cop teaming work and delivers an effective double-sting ending.