On a remote island, the FBI has a training program for their psychological profiling division, called "Mindhunters", used to track down serial killers. The training goes horribly wrong, however, when a group of seven young agents discover that one of them is a serial killer, and is setting about slaying the others. Can the few that are left figure out who the killer is in time?Written by
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Certain international DVD distributors included deleted scenes not seen in the original theatrical release, which provides more character development and makes the film more complete. There are numerous sequences and the major ones are noted as follows:
"Sara's Regret" - This scene expanded upon how vulnerable Sara Moore (played by Kathryn Morris) was. The FBI agent's character is developed further. The setting has the agent behind a desk after cracking under the pressure of an intense field assignment. The scene is introspective in nature.
"The Instructor's Office" - The scene is set in the FBI instructor's office for the character Jake Harris played by Val Kilmer. Harris speaks with Sara played by Kathryn Morris and J.D. Reston played by Christian Slater. The verbal communication between Harris and J.D. is professional and almost military in nature, but it is clear that Harris has doubts related to Sara's performance. The performance review is completed and in the process a caustic exchange transpires in which Harris directly questions her ability. This establishes Sara's potential motive.
"Ride Along" - In a scene on the helicopter pad at the FBI training complex, Gabe Jensen played by LL Cool J and Jake Harris played by Val Kilmer speak in a caustic capacity before any of the agents arrive. Harris is ordered by his superiors to allow Gabe Jensen to observe his class and teaching methods. In this exchange Harris and Jensen makes their feelings plainly clear. This established a potential motive for both Jensen and Harris.
"Rappelling" - In a brief scene in the film personnel are seen rappelling out of a helicopter and securing a hot landing zone during a training exercise. This scene set the stage for later in the film when Harris tells his class to get their rappelling lines out of the back of the helicopter when nearing Oniega. The joke then seems more intense and relevant.
"The ending" - Several variations of the ending were filmed. One of them included Jake Harris (Val Kilmer) and numerous others included modified character development from the final theatrical ending.
Knowing Renny Harlin's track record, you never know what to expect from the Finnish director. It seems it's more or less random which of his films turn out to be crap or really quite good. I didn't know what to expect here, and maybe my low expectations were part of the reason why i found this film to be surprisingly entertaining.
The setup is pretty standard-fare for a serial-killer film. What makes this different is the victims. They are FBI-agents in training to become profilers. Their teacher is Jake Harris (Val Kilmer) who likes to use special methods while training his agents. As a test the profilers-to-be are sent out to an army training facility on a desolate island. A small town is built on the island and the morning after their arrival a murder will have happened in the town, their job is to find the killer. Something goes wrong however and it seems the game has become real, a killer really is on the loose and now he's chasing them.
To say that this story is unbelievable and forced is an understatement. The whole set-up with an abandoned island feels a bit cheap, a lame excuse to get the agents alone in a place from which there is no escape. But if you can accept that particular bit of plot then the rest is not bad at all. The atmosphere is well built and the suspense is thick. Also most of the actors do a pretty good job creating that "anyone-could-be-guilty"-feeling.
So, even though the serial-killer thing has been done a thousand times and even though the set-up here is even less believable than usual, this is still an enjoyable experience. It might not be revolutionary, and it might not be something you'll remember for very long. But if you like this kind of movie you will at least be entertained for as long as it lasts. I rate it 6/10.
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