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British comedy and debut feature from director Sean Foley. The film follows Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt), a washed-up actor who enjoyed fleeting success in the 1980s playing a TV detective named Mindhorn. Now living in poverty in London after throwing his career away trying to make it in Hollywood, Thorncroft has been left to watch on helplessly as his glamorous ex-girlfriend and former co-star Patricia Deville (Essie Davis) continues to find success as a news reporter and is now happily married to his former stunt double Clive Parnevik (Simon Farnaby). However, despite his desperate situation, Thorncroft is suddenly given another shot at stardom when a crazed fugitive obsessed with his old TV show contacts police and demands to negotiate with Mindhorn in a bid to prove his innocence. The cast also includes Steve Coogan, Nicholas Farrell and Harriet Walter.
- Commentary by Julian Barratt and Simon Farnaby
- Mindhorn Featurette
- Film Shout Outs
- Thieves in the Cinema ad
- The Mind of Mindhorn
- Richard Thorncroft Interview
- Clive Parnevik Stunt Masterclass
- Music Video: You Can't Handcuff The Wind by Richard Thorncroft
Complete Copy - Delve deeper into the world of Mindhorn with a hilarious commentary, interviews with the cast and crew in and out of character and the funniest chart topping music video that never was.
Commentary It's Truth Time as creators and stars Julian Barratt and Simon Farnaby talk through how Mindhorn came to be and reveal on set stories on a scene by scene basis.
Mindhorn Featurette Go behind the action with the cast and crew to find out more about the film's characters and the Irish Sea's own Hollywood, the Isle of Man.
Film Shout Outs Watch Julian Barratt's on screen character Richard Thorncroft show off his acting genius in luring viewers in to the world of Mindhorn.
Thieves in the Cinema ad Hilarious spoof advert played straight by the man behind Mindhorn, Richard Thorncroft.
Richard Thorncroft Interview Get closer to the Truer Detective's off screen actor and find out how he rolls.
Clive Parnevik Stunt Masterclass Stuntman, Lover, Rival... learn from the master himself!
Music Video: You Can't Handcuff The Wind As Richard Thorncroft once said, "Acting is my wife, but music is my hot mistress." Witness the fitness in this amazing '80s poptastic pastiche from the actor at his peak.
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I've grown quite tired of these "self-unaware" characters. We've already had Austin Powers, Zoolander, and Tugg Speedman. We don't need any more. I'm actually giving the movie more credibility than it is due with comparisons to Hollywood fare. This is more like The Keith Lemon Movie.
Richard Thorncroft is a has-been actor who once starred in a 1980s regional detective series called Mindhorn, set on the Isle of Man, in which he played a one-eyed sleuth who could "see" the truth. He quits this role, believing that Hollywood is beckoning, and never finds work again. An amusing anticipation of appropriate reality for the rest of Julian Barratt's career, likely.
Many years later, and desperate for work, a chance at redemption comes along when a madman thinks that the show is real and demands to talk with the actual Mindhorn character to resolve a murder plot. It is the E-X-A-C-T set-up from the awful Alan Partridge movie from 2013, and it too completely squanders its potential by only ever going for the easiest "comedy" and broadest laughs, and even those are few and far between. The useless talent agent character is even directly plagiarised from Extras.
Every. Single. Setup. in this film is wasted on "cringe" humor, which can be very funny in TV shows like The Office or Curb Your Enthusiasm, but it's not here. They could have built the comedy on Thorncroft finding his own moxie and truly becoming Mindhorn, understanding his previous errors, and taking a stand for himself.
At best, at an impossibly lenient push, this is 40-minute TV special fare. There's NOTHING remotely theatrical about this, right down to the ugly "photography". Like the Alan Partridge movie, Mindhorn is shot in a sort of digital Super35 process where they just shoot a 1.78:1 image and chop the top and bottom to fake a scope aspect ratio, which makes every shot look cramped and poorly composed, and the unnaturally boosted saturation is not pleasant to look at. Even without this problem the flat lighting is very televisual.
It depresses me that movies this abysmal get funding and distribution. Is this what comedy has become? Is this what the tastes of society have degraded to? I cannot trash this garbage enough, and I predict that the Blu-rays will be stacked floor-to-ceiling in Poundland very soon.
Three decades later, a killer strikes on the Isle of Man, and the chief suspect, aka 'the kestrel', will only talk to the police via Mindhorn. Thorncroft is plucked from balding paunchy oblivion - reduced to doing ads for male girdles and 'thrombi' socks - and returns from his flat in Walthamstow to his old haunts on the Isle.
The comedy comes from a mixture of the surreal situation, the loving homage to '80s pop culture, and the juxtaposition of a vain has been with a world that has moved on, prospering as he stagnates. Occasionally it's laugh out loud funny. Occasionally it's a little lame. But it is, for the most part, plain silly fun.
Co-writer/producer Simon Farnaby has a enjoyably silly supporting role, As Mindhorn's Dutch ex-stuntman, and current partner of Thorncroft's ex-Mindhorn era co-star and love interest. With production backing from Ridley Scott, and a cameo role for Steve Coogan, if I was being harsh I'd give this just three stars. If generous, four.
Great tongue-in-cheek satirical homage of 70's/80's TV cop/sci-fi shows.
Great acting, Julian Barrett is brilliant as always.
This is far superior to other recent British comedies like Shaun of the Dead or any Hollywood nonsense.
This should be more well known!! Watch it and spread the word.
Mindhorn is awesome!
If you loved the Boosh this will keep you engaged from the first scene to the scintillatingly dramatic denouement. Twists of plot and dialogue maintain high octane action and wigs of unfathomable depth within a labyrinthine cornucopia . Steve Coogan's incredibly well maintained teeth make a wonderful cameo appearance and the Isle of Man reveals its more amusing side .
Delicious waste of time.