Stop me if you’ve heard this before. When the exact pattern of a 23 yr-old rape/murder is repeated, the retired detective who never solved the original crime, picks up the new case along with his last partner who’s still on the force, but barely functioning after losing his wife to cancer. Last week’s Masterpiece Mystery? A bleakly wry Swedish police procedural recast in English for BBC/PBS? Normally, these similarities aren’t a big problem. But Swiss writer/director Baran bo Odar, working in Germany, isn’t able to revive the well-worn plot with either fresh characters (everyone works too hard at being interesting), psychological insight (you’re two steps ahead all the way) or technical pizzazz (from dream sequence to smash edits, applied instead of organic). Acceptable if you’re surfing cable for something to watch. But as a stand-alone, pretty tuckered out.
WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Some reviewers compared this to David Fincher’s ZODIAC/’07. An odd match, but if you go that way, at least trade up to Joon-ho Bong’s superb MEMORIES OF MURDER/’03.