Mindhorn Review

Mindhorn

You can’t handcuff the wind.

That’s just good science.

And Julian Barratt, aka Richard Thornbridge, aka detective Mindhorn is the wind.

Or at least he used to be.

Back in the eighties’ shaped glory days of the Isle of Man’s most famous tv detective, Thornbridge was as hot as Rik Mayall’s ‘Lord Flashheart’ shaped pants.

Thanks to his robotic eye, Mindhorn could literally see the truth.

Unfortunately, Thornbridge wasn’t blessed with such bionic foresight.

Having crashed and burned on Hollywood’s sunset boulevard, after burning all bridges to his Mindhorn shaped past, Thornbridge is a washed up actor whose only leading man roles are in adverts for men’s girdles and thrombisocks.

Older, fatter, balder… the years have not been kind to the actor formerly known as Mindhorn.

And yet, redemption may be at hand for the Isle of Man’s finest fictional detective.

There’s a murder to solve back on his old stomping ground and the prime suspect, who’s a kestrel or two short of a flock, will only talk to one man.

And that man is detective Mindhorn.

It’s time for Thornbridge to suck in his gut and dust off his now trusty hairpiece for one last mission… resurrecting his acting career.

And if he manages to catch a murderer in the process, well that’s just good pr science.

I had tickets to the Mindhorn premiere at last year’s London film festival, but had to give these up as I could barely make it out of my sickbed.

You see, film reviewers are a bunch of selfish bastards who are all too happy to pass around their early autumnal germs in the well circulated cinemas we’ve become accustomed to.

Still, it turns out Mindhorn was worth the wait.

Written by and starring Julian Barratt and Simon Farnaby, who also plays our hero’s double Dutch stunt double, Mindhorn is the funniest film you’ll see this year.

In fact, it’s the best British comedy I’ve seen in an age.

Based around the inherent vanity and insanity of actors – and I say that having lived with a few – Mindhorn brilliantly skewers the all-encompassing self-importance that so many performers have for themselves, and is a brilliant parody of classic eighties tv detective shows like Bergerac and The Bionic Man to boot.

Barratt excels as Thornbridge, a man who can’t let go of his past – even though everyone else has. And as Mindhorn rushes towards its manic climax, so Thornbridge’s tenuous grip on reality steadily unravels in parallel.

After all, there’s only so much the mind can take before snapping completely – and actors do take on so very much, pretending to be someone else half the time makes it so easy to lose touch with reality.

Still, you can’t blame them for that – and if you tried you’d only fail.

It’s like trying to put thunder in jail.

Jonathan Campbell

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