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Mindhorn

Sean Foley

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Destined to become a cult classic, Mindhorn, written by Julian Barratt, and Simon Farnaby, can easily take its pride of place in the canon of wacky British comedy. With a genuine love for bad 1980s TV shining through, the film celebrates and simultaneously makes fun of almost everyone involved.

"...a hoot from beginning to end."

We are first introduced to Richard Thorncroft (Barratt) at the height of his popularity playing the role of Mindhorn, a television detective with a robotic eye who can literally ‘see the truth’. Flash forward two decades and the years haven’t been kind to either the show or its star. So when a call comes to resurrect Mindhorn, Thorncroft jumps at the chance. But this is no ordinary acting job. Thorncroft must help the police negotiate with a criminal called The Kestrel (Russel Tovey) who will only speak to his favourite fictional character. Despite donning his trademark jacket and eye patch, Thorncroft finds it difficult to get his mojo back. It doesn’t help that everyone else from the show seems to be doing very well for themselves: his former stunt double (played by Farnaby himself) is now married to his former leading lady (Essie Davis).

Featuring an ensemble cast gamely playing along with all the silliness, the film really belongs to Barratt, who brings a lovely vulnerability and charm to Thorncroft, despite his narcissism, bad wig and middle-aged spread. With more plot twists than a 1980s cop show, Mindhorn is a hoot from beginning to end.

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