A has-been actor best known for playing the title character in the 1980s detective series "Mindhorn" must work with the police when a serial killer says that he will only speak with Detective Mindhorn, whom he believes to be a real person.
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Richard Thorncroft is a has-been British television actor who used to be famous in the late 1980s for playing the charismatic title character in the Isle of Man detective show Mindhorn, a character with a robotic eye that can literally "see the truth". Unfortunately, after becoming a little too pompous and arrogant, Richard ends up insulting the Isle of Man and his fellow cast members on the Wogan chat-show, including his on-screen and real-life love interest Patricia Deville (Essie Davies), his stuntman (Simon Farnaby), and bit-part co-star Peter Easterman (Steve Coogan). He decides to leave to try and make it big in Hollywood, but twenty-five years later he's balding in a flat in North London and has recently been replaced for an orthopaedic sock advertisement by John Nettles, much to his chagrin. He is even more jealous that Easterman now fronts a long-running spin-off show which has far eclipsed the success of Mindhorn. Richard has an unexpected opportunity to reignite his career ...Written by
A fun spoof of '80s UK crime drama set on the Isle of Man
In the 1980s Richard Thorncroft found fame as Mindhorn, the Manx detective with an artificial eye that could literally see the truth. After three series he decided it was time to head to Hollywood, burning his bridges as he goes. Twenty five years later he is living in a flat in London and his only acting work has been the occasional advert. Now a deranged murder suspect, self-dubbed 'The Kestrel' is saying he will only talk to Detective Mindhorn; this leads to his return to the Isle of Man. Here he is both caught up in the hunt for the killer as well as meeting former colleagues who went on to live more successful lives than him.
If you are looking for anything serious you will definitely be disappointed but if you like the idea of a mild spoof of '80s UK detective shows this is worth watching. As others have said 'Mindhorn', the TV show, was clearly 'Bergerac' with a bionic eye... something which the film constantly acknowledges with an ongoing joke about Thorncroft losing roles to John 'Bergerac' Nettles. Most of the humour comes from the Richard Thorncroft character; he is almost a copy of Alan Partridge at times... most notably in scenes featuring Steve Coogan as a secondary character in 'Mindhorn' who left for a far more successful spin-off series. The plot in many ways mirrors the style on an '80s TV show as does the acting; something I'm sure was deliberate. The cast does a solid job with just about everybody looking more than a little ridiculous at times. The ending is inevitably rather cheesy but that fitted in with the general feel of the film. Overall I certainly wouldn't say this is a must see but would still recommend it to anybody who enjoys slightly cheesy silliness.
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