Julian Barratt, most known for his work on The Mighty Boosh, has had much more of a quieter screen presence than that of his former counterpart Noel Fielding, so it was a welcome surprise to catch wind of his latest work, Mindhorn. From the trailers this film looked like it was going to be an absolutely cracking British Comedy and looked to be very reminiscent of the Steve Coogan comedy crime caper The Parole Officer. However, as the saying goes, looks can be deceiving.
Mindhorn is billed as being based on a washed up actor, Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt), having to reprise his most famous role of Detective Mindhorn in order to catch a deluded serial killer, who believes the character to be real and is threatening to kill again unless he can speak with Mindhorn. However, this potentially incredible plot takes a backseat throughout the film in order to allow room for Richard Thorncroft to try and revitalise his acting career and rekindle old relationships. A story which is still interesting, but just not as interesting as the whole story could have been, with the serial killer plot turning out to be something else much more underwhelming and the self indulgent story of Thorncroft trying to restart his acting career dragging a lot of the time.
However, the humour of Mindhorn is a constant throughout, with it ranging from subtle one liners and witty quips, to the more extravagant, flamboyant humour very similar to that of The Mighty Boosh, so when the story starts to go downhill abit, the humour manages to keep it alive. That being said however, Mindhorn has suffered from showing too many of the big gags of the film within the trailers, leading to abit of disappointment when you realise you’ve already seen the majority the jokes and there aren’t many more big gags to be seen.
Along with this, the only real interesting and enjoyable characters throughout the film are Mindhorn himself, The Kestral (Russell Tovey) and Clive Parnevik (Simon Farnaby) who really are great in their respective roles and have some very funny, very quotable lines. Besides that, there isn’t a great deal in the way of character depth, even with Steve Coogan’s character Peter Eastman which was a shame, but this really doesn’t work against the film but it just leaves you with a sense of wanting more.
Overall, the film really could have been something spectacular if it chose different directions with its storytelling and character dynamics, however that isn’t to say it wasn’t an enjoyable film, it just could have been so much more. The finale of the film really does make up for its downfalls however, with a hilariously strange scenario playing out which is thoroughly exciting, leaving you with a more positive outlook on the film as a whole, which may be surprising reading the review above, but Mindhorn is a good comedy with some very quotable dialogue and great humour, it just could of, and should of, been so much more.
Should have been a lot Gubbier, but is still a Gub.