Mindhorn is a comedy which had me at ‘hello’ when I first saw the trailer, right before I was about to watch Free Fire, so I was gutted when the studio didn’t send enough prints round the UK, meaning my local Odeon (Trafford Centre) couldn’t show it. But now, it’s out on Blu-ray and DVD.
Mindhorn, the chracter, is played by the actor Richard Thorncroft (aka The Mighty Boosh‘s Julian Barratt), and 25 years on from the show’s demise, in the almost-present day, his career is long behind him – even with the Mindhorn spin-off, Windjammer (Steve Coogan), overtaking him big-time – until serial killer Paul Melly aka The Kestral (Russell Tovey), obsessed with his character, is murdering many a person, and they’ll only speak to one person – Detective Mindhorn, the detective with a bionic eye, that can see right into the truth!
The plot, such that it is, as Thorncroft tries to make it back to the big time, is to defeat the Kestrel, rekindle a flame from long ago in Patricia Deville (Essie Davis), encounter former stunt double – Scandinavian Clive (Simon Farnaby), and resurrect his career despite having annoyed a hell of a lot of people along the way.
Beginning in 1989, before moving 25 years on, the film takes in a number of locations on the Isle of Man, so it’s obviously heading down a ‘comedy Bergerac‘ route, as that was set on Jersey, but while being very daft and having a lot of laughs, it’s not quite as funny as I was hoping for, and tends to lose it a bit in the second half.
However, it does leave me wishing that all three series of Mindhorn really had existed and were due for release on DVD.
The film is presented in the theatrical 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and in 1080p high definition and looks as stunning as you’d expect from a modern movie, even though it heads back to the ’70s for its setting.
The sound is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and it’s not a SFX extravaganza, it’s more a knockabout comedy, but what’s audible is enjoyable.
The extras are as follows, but while everything is fun, it’s also very brief:
- Mindhorn Featurette (5:44): Brief chat from the leads and director. It’s the sort of thing you’d get on Sky Cinema inbetween films.
- Film Shout-outs (1:38): Five brief cinema trailers with Barratt and Farnaby in character. What a shame the studio barely supplied any prints.
- Thieves in the Cinema Ad (0:50): A public information-style piece from Mr Thorncroft. THIS should be used for ALL cinemas!
- The Mind of Mindhorn (1:28): A few interview soundbites with Richard Thorncroft and Clive Parnevik.
- Richard Thorncroft Interview (1:10): Q&A soundbites with the Qs on captions and the As straight from the actor’s mouth. We see these a lot on Blu-ray and DVD, but I think this is the first time from the character, themselves, rather than the actors.
- Clive Parnevik Stunt Masterclass (1:43): Similar, but with the other male lead.
- You Can’t Handcuff The Wind – Music Video (3:59): Richard Thorncroft gives us a very ’80s-style music video, and I love the opening distributor credit from “Thorncroft Video 1989”, done in the exact same style of ’80s company Thorn EMI Video, albeit with the ‘T’ the other way up.
The menu mixes the Mindhorn theme and clips from the film, there are subtitles in English only, and a a bog-standard 12 chapters. I prefer one every 5 minutes, which would come to 18.
Running time: 88 minutes
Released: September 4th 2017
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Sean Foley
Producers: Jack Arbuthnott and Laura Hastings-Smith
Screenplay: Julian Barratt and Simon Farnaby
Music: Keefus Ciancia and David Holmes
Richard Thorncroft / Detective Bruce Mindhorn: Julian Barratt
Patricia Deville: Essie Davis
Clive Parnevik: Simon Farnaby
DC Baines: Andrea Riseborough
Peter Eastman: Steve Coogan
Paul Melly aka The Kestral: Russell Tovey
Jasmine: Jessica Barden
Agent: Harriet Walter
Himself: Simon Callow
Mayor George Baines: Nicholas Farrell
Chief Inspector Derek Newsome: David Schofield
Jeffrey Moncrieff: Richard McCabe
PC Green: Robin Morrissey
Dad With Newspaper: Tony Way
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.