by Martin Hafer
Mindhorn is one of the newest Netflix productions to be released. However, it is very unusual in that it has a mostly British cast and it was filmed on the Isle of Man…an unusual location for a Netflix film, I know. In fact, most people outside the United Kingdom probably have no idea where the Isle of Man is or if it exists at all! I assure you, it does and the self-governing island is hope to tailless cats and motorcycle racing!
When the story begins, you learn that back in the late 1980s there was a British television series called Mindhorn. It was about some bizarre private detective with a cybernetic eye who went on adventures and solved crimes. The problem is that today, a crazed maniac believes that the show was completely real and is demanding the police let him speak to Mindhorn.
As for the actor who played the title character, Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barrett) is a complete mess and can only find work doing commercials for compression socks and adult bladder protection these days! He hopes that by traveling to the island that he’ll become a hero and revive his stalled career. But there is one serious problem. Thorncroft is a complete jerk … and a dumb one at that. He manages to alienate just about everyone he meets and you cannot help but hate him … but there is far, far more to the story.
Up to the point I’ve described, the film is a bit hard to take because Thorncroft is such a big jerk … a thorough and complete jerk. Fortunately, the second half of the film improves tremendously and becomes rather funny … especially when he ends up teaming up with a guy who calls himself ‘the Kestrel’. The film takes a definite turn towards the weird as well as the heroic and actually is very unique and worth seeing.
This film is clearly one that I urge you to keep watching …even with a slow start. My wife cringed repeatedly and found Thorncroft’s character so annoying and awful she wanted to stop watching. As for me, I have a higher threshold for the embarrassing and weird and really enjoyed the film. It’s uneven, of course, but a film that ends on a very high note. Hopefully, we’ll see more stuff like this from Netflix.
Martin's Grade: B+Share: