Written by James Reilly – Student Pages Entertainment Journalist/Film Critic
Mindhorn (2017), directed by Sean Foley and written by Simon Farnaby and Julian Barrett of The Mighty Boosh fame, is a little known comedy set on the Isle of Man which sees Julian Barrett undertake the role of Richard Thorncroft who undertakes the role of 1980’s detective; Mindhorn. Where Mindhorn might of been a cult hit in this fictional world in the 1980’s, the actor finds himself washed up and out of luck. However, he must come out of retirement when he’s needed by police to aid them in capturing a serial killer who says he will only speak with Detective Mindhorn, whom he believes to be a real person. Confusing? A little on paper, but fun none the less.
Being a comedy film, and comedy being subjective, I did find myself chuckling throughout this film at a steady pace. The character and humour, very reminiscent of Alan Partridge made extra ironic with the inclusion of Steve Coogan in the film, hit hard in places and provided a fun experience throughout the 90 minute runtime. However I harken back to a view I have with a lot of comedies that I see, do they remember to actually craft a story and a film besides the jokes. They do, sort of. The plot is reminiscent of a b-movie, although deliberate, the story did feel flimsy in places and resorted to textbook plot devices that made me nearly roll my eyes when I realised they were going there. While I wouldn’t go into a film like this expecting The Godfather (1972) in terms of good plot, I think a comedy that excels in both humour and story is what elevates a film from being good – to being great.
Seeing the film before its scheduled May 5th release date has gotten me a tad in front of the reviews that I’m sure will pour over Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB in the coming weeks, so there is no true critics consensus (although at time of writing the Rotten Tomatoes score is sitting at a very high 88%). Therefore I’m not sure this film is going to be the hit it deserves to be or not. I feel I may come across slightly harsh in my review and 3 star review rating, but I really did laugh and enjoy the film, truly love the character, although I do wish the character was allowed to shine in a better film plot wise.
A film like this shouldn’t have to stand on its plot, instead on its comedy, and in that respect the film succeeds. However I find a truly outstanding comedy can do both, and while in this case it failed to do so in the plot department, its still a very funny film in this hilarious, if not entirely focussed, comedy.
Follow James at @JamesisGinger