Posted May 2, 2017 by Chris Droney in Film Reviews

Mindhorn Review

Mindhorn is very funny, which is the very least you would expect when Julian Barratt and Simon Farnaby team up once more. Both long time members of Mighty Boosh fame, they’re back in a quick, 89 minute tale of Partidgian redemption.

Barratt stars as Richard Thorncroft, a wonderfully has-been British actor who took a chance when his stock was at an all time high, and failed to make an impact in Hollywood. Along the way, he burned pretty much all his bridges, and even his most famous character, 80’s TV cop Mindhorn, isn’t all that fondly remembered.

What made Mindhorn get at theme was the fusion of classic cop dramas of it’s time with glaringly poor sci fi; Mindhorn himself the subject of a horrid experiment, where his left eye is replaced with a bionic one, which allows him to see the truth in everything. You cannot lie to Mindhorn, he will literally see past it. If this doesn’t give you an idea of the humour on offer here, I’m not sure how else to describe.

In 2017, Thorncroft is lost and willing to do anything to get back in the spotlight, so when there’s a serial killer in the Isle of Man, where Mindhorn was set, asking to speak to the tv cop and only him, Thorncroft jumps at the chance to get back into character and save the day, hoping to get some press along the way.

What follows is a festival of laughs, Thorncroft bumbling and messing up at every avenue. While the plot may be by the numbers, that isn’t to say there’s still plenty to enjoy. The Isle of Man was destined for comedy of this level, itself a character in this film as much as anyone on screen. There are supporting characters such as Farnaby’s stunt man to Barratt’s Thorncroft, and Steve Coogan as a bit part character of the tv show, who went on to be a raging success as his spin off show still garners fans.

This is very much Barratt’s engine, and his performance should hopefully help push his career where it should be. He has been sorely missed since Might Boosh took it’s leave, and small roles in The Harry Hill Movie are not worthy of his like. His swagger here, especially when in the Mindhorn character, is something of beauty, gut and all. Thorncroft’s see importance, insistence on being better received than he has been thus far, and that he should be as revered as those who cameo is the stuff you watch with your face buried in you hands, and it’s all the better for it.

But Mindhorn is not without it’s heart, yet even that gets yanked out from under Thorncroft as he attempts to rebuild severed ties, be it with his previous lover, the population of the Isle of Man, or who he believes to be his daughter. It all makes for the summer’s first out and out comedy, which demands your attention.

Mindhorn is released in the UK on Friday, May 5th

Chris Droney