Mindhunters

"OK"

Mindhunters Review


In Mindhunters, a serial killer uses broken watches to reveal the time he's going to murder his next victim. Ironically, the film itself is like a watch -- a classy watch, in fact -- but a watch, nonetheless; similar in that both are reliable devices that do exactly what you expect of them and do so on autopilot, extracting little effort from the observer, until, of course, a battery change becomes necessary. Unfortunately, Mindhunters needs more than a simple battery replacement.

How's this for a final exam? Jake Harris (Val Kilmer), a controversial FBI instructor, immerses his students in elaborate, realistic training situations, and he pushes them to their limits for their final test. He flies his students (Christian Slater, Patricia Velasquez, Jonny Lee Miller, Clifton Collins Jr., Kathryn Morris, Eion Bailey, and Will Kemp) to a remote island used for war games practice, which has been deserted for the weekend.

To pass their exam, the students must figure out the identity of a killer called The Puppeteer before Harris returns to the island a few days later. He quickly leaves the island, but allows a profiler (LL Cool J) with the Philadelphia Police to observe the students and his own instructional methods. The exam quickly gets a little too lifelike, however, when students start dying -- for real. And it isn't long before they realize that the killer is one of them.

Mindhunters offers an engaging, violent premise. At a time when PG-13 rated "thrillers" have overtaken the multiplexes, this film deserves credit for granting thrill seekers an R-rated, adult experience, complete with a high body count and several grisly death sequences (one particular scene will make you think twice before smoking again), something that has become a rarity in recent thrillers. Surprisingly, the film doesn't hesitate to pick off the biggest names in the cast right off the bat. It's easy to find guilty pleasure in Mindhunters.

Apparently, director Renny Harlin -- known for action flicks like Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger -- edited the film over and over to perfect the pacing. His persistence didn't pay off, however, as the only effective moments are the death sequences, and they are isolated islands in a vast ocean of amateur dialogue, lackluster writing, and sub par performances. Mindhunters lacks suspense and tension. Harlin doesn't capture the terror and anxiety of his characters, even with the watch gimmick that pits them in a race against time.

Instead of elaborate plot devices like the watches, Harlin should have given the actors more to work with. The characters are almost completely void of interest as they wander from one implausible situation to another; they are merely puppets of the already mechanical plot (some of them become puppets, literally). Additionally, with all the creative booby traps the killer devises, I found myself rooting for the villain more often than not.

The script itself poses more questions than answers. When did the killer travel to this remote island to devise all of these elaborate traps? It's probably not an easy location to reach, especially since the U.S. government owns it and access is limited. When and how did he/she manage to booby trap the pipes, lights, cigarette machines, clocks, beverages, guns, and set up that never-ending line of dominos when security would be tight?

Actually, the more I think about the logic of Mindhunters, the less I like it. So I'll stop now before I knock off another star from my rating. It could get ugly.

The DVD includes a commentary track, making-of featurettes, and an interesting short documentary about the location where it was shot -- not an island off the coast of North Carolina, but rather a manufactured city in Poland.

Aka Mind Hunters.

It was much better than Cats. We're going to see it again and again.



Mindhunters

Facts and Figures

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th May 2005

Box Office USA: $4.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $21.1M

Budget: $27M

Distributed by: Miramax

Production compaines: Dimension Films, Intermedia Films, Avenue Pictures Productions, Weed Road Pictures, Egmond Film & Television, Tonna Oy, Outlaw Victoria Productions Inc., Mindhunters (UK) Limited, Mindhunters Productie BV

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 25%
Fresh: 29 Rotten: 86

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Gabe Jensen, as Lucas Harper, as Sara Moore, as Nicole Willis, Clifton Collins, Jr. as Vince Sherman, as Bobby Whitman, as Rafe Perry, as Jake Harris, as J.D. Reston, Cassandra Bell as Jen, Daniël Boissevain as Second Man in the Bar, as Man in the Bar, Jasmine Sendar as Friend of Jen, Trevor White as Attacker

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.