I believe I told my wife that I wanted to watch Mindhorn on Netflix for a review. Her response was something similar to “What the fuck is Mindhorn?”

And of course I gave her the netflix description of it, and she said “That sounds fucking stupid.” Yes, yes it does. And that is of course why I watched it.

Also the title is powerful. Mindhorn. Mind. Horn. Mindh. Orn.


I am now in your brain, learning your secrets.

Mindhorn is a British television show about Detective Mindhorn, played by actor Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt). He has some telepathic powers, and he solves crime. It is the hottest TV show around. It is on the cover of magazines, everyone talks about it, and it is getting a spin-off led by one of its minor characters played by Peter Eastman (Steve Coogan).

And now? It is 25 years later, Thorncroft is living in poverty, doing commercials, no one caring about Mindhorn anymore. It lasted three seasons and was cancelled and Thorncroft was a dick, so he left all his friends behind to try for something better. And shit, the spinoff lasted over 10 seasons and is what everyone cares about now.

But things will change. Because on the Isle of Man, where the series was filmed, a MURDER has occurred. By a “lunatic” Paul Melly (Russell Tovey), who will only speak to Detective Mindhorn. He thinks that Mindhorn is real and will only deal with the character. So Thorncroft is brought in, to act and help deal with the boy. But Thorncroft needs money and fame, so he will make this last as long as it needs to be to get people saying his name again.

Also starring Richard McCabe, David Schofield, Simon Farnaby, Kenneth Branagh, Jessica Barden, Andrea Riseborough, Essie Davis, and Nicholas Farrell.

If this movie was in 3D, this would be an intense, frightening scene. Because of the shots, not the weed wacker.

Mindhorn takes an interesting premise, makes it British, adds some comedy, and still doesn’t fully deliver an amazing movie.

It had amusing moments, it had interesting characters (a lot of the side characters were brimming with personality), but I feel it was also plagued with pacing issues and not being strong on the humor. It is adequately bizarre (not extremely bizarre), even a bit zany, just not incredibly humorous. That is one of my biggest issues.

As for pacing issues, at times it feels clunky. It is easy for mystery-esque movies to lead you all over the place with only tiny details mattering by the end, but this one isn’t even a real mystery. The police believe they know who the killer is right away, and when things inevitably change, we have a new obvious killer, and the majority of the film is just trying to get the proof. So not really a mystery, despite set up like one.

It makes the film just so hard to define. That isn’t a negative, given some of my favorite movies this year have hard to define genres. But when it comes out like a mystery and is instead just a slightly eccentric comedy, you just find yourself wanting a lot more in the film.

2 out of 4.

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