‘Mindhorn” is a perfect comedic combination of Inspector Clouseau and “The Three Amigos” and can conveniently be watched from home on Netflix.
Has-been actor Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt) returns to the fictional character that made him famous: Mindhorn — a detective with a bionic eye that can “see the truth.” A criminal terrorizing the Isle of Man believes Mindhorn is real and demands his help. Thorncroft himself has difficulty distinguishing the difference between reality and fiction, making for comedic disaster.
Most of the jokes focus on the fact that Thorncroft is no longer the sexy star of the ’80s. He’s old, fat, balding and probably wasn’t all that talented to begin. However, big as his vanity is, the police need his help and find ways to work around his intelligence, or lack thereof.
There are some predictable moments in the film, but the plot is more complex than expected, putting fake-Mindhorn deep into a hole from which he might not be able to escape.
The film also has some good throwbacks to the ’80s TV. The hair, costumes and cars all return so the real villain that fake-Mindhorn deals with will believe the lie. That means all the technology as well, which provides some obstacles to crime fighting, especially since Thorncroft only knows how to work with props, not the real thing.
While Thorncroft isn’t the sharpest, and can be cowardly when facing real bullets, bombs and criminals, he does have a character arc that helps him grow and develop in small ways. His character is sometimes shown in a sympathetic light because his fame betrayed him and he faded into obscurity.
For the most part, “Mindhorn” is a wild, crazy comedic romp with an idiot for a guide.