Released in 2016 as an independent British comedy, Netflix got the streaming rights to “Mindhorn” and released it in mid-May 2017. “Mindhorn” is the story of Richard Thorncroft, an actor famous for his role as TV detective Mindhorn in the 80’s. He’s a former special forces operative that has one of his eyes surgically replaced with a lie-detector so he can “always see the truth” and ends up as The Isle of Man’s best plain clothes detective. With lines such as “It’s truth time!” Mindhorn is king of 80’s tv. Think Michael Knight, Million Dollar Man, and Burt Reynolds all wrapped into one. The show gets cancelled when Thorncraft thinks he’s too big for the small island and movies to LA to strike it big. The movie picks up 25 years later where we realize none of that happened. But Thorncroft must don the eyepatch and come back to action at the Isle of Man when a deranged killer calls the police saying he will only speak to Detective Mindhorn.
The cast in the movie is decent, with a few British stars you may recognize if you watch BBC shows every once in a while. The only big stars of any note are Kenneth Branagh, playing himself in quite a hilarious cameo, and Steve Coogan, who you might recognize from “Night at the Museum” and “Tropic Thunder.” Our star Thorncroft is played by Julian Barratt, who does a pretty good job playing the conceited actor who takes his Mindhorn role a bit too seriously. He shines best when he is actually playing Mindhorn within the movie, as opposed to Thorncroft the actor. While I appreciated the movie for it’s pretty original premise and few good one-liners, the problem I had is that it wasn’t really all that funny. A chuckle here or there, but nothing slap my knee worthy. Sometimes I was unable to tell if the movie was trying to make fun of itself or just actually bad.
Due to the MASSIVE amount of stuff available of Netflix these days, I say this is one to skip. Honestly, just watch old Knight Rider reruns or Smokey and the Bandit to see a better version of what Mindhorn was trying to capture.
3.5 plot twists I didn’t even care about out of 10