Review: Mindhorn (15)

Certificate: 15

Running Time: 89 mins

Star Rating: 3/5

SEEING the truth is easy when you have robotic vision in director Sean Foley's loopy lark based around a fictitious 1980s TV detective show, best described as The Six Million Dollar Man meets Bergerac on the Isle of Man. Scripted by actors Julian Barratt and Simon Farnaby, who nab two of the showiest roles, Mindhorn hits more targets than it misses with its delightfully daft cocktail of spoof, slapstick and whodunnit.

The search for a hospital outpatient, who is suspected of murder, quickly takes a back seat to the pratfalls including flashes of old-fashioned physical humour. Extended cameos from Kenneth Branagh and Simon Callow, gleefully poking fun at their theatrical luvviness, deliver hearty laughs. In the late 1980s, actor Richard Thorncroft (Barratt) set a nation's heart aflutter as Mindhorn, who could literally "see the truth" using his one robotic eye. Twenty-five years later, fame has deserted him, he's overweight and gloriously self-deluded. He gets a chance of redemption when he is asked to help apprehend suspected serial killer, Paul Melly (Russell Tovey).

Filmed on location on the Isle of Man, Mindhorn is a potty-mouthed escape from dreary reality that pickpockets chuckles and the occasional snort of derision as the cast surrender to the script's lunacy.

Barratt and Farnaby's script contrives a ramshackle murder mystery that might pass muster on Midsomer Murders, with a considerably higher body count.



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