Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hot Fuzz Galaxy Quest by Way of Garth Marenghi, or Thoughts on Mindhorn

Imagine Howard Moon from The Mighty Boosch as a 90’s TV detective with a cybernetic eye that can literally see the truth and you have the pitch for Mindhorn (2016).  Produced by Ridley Scott, Julian Barrett plays Richard Thorncroft, the washed-up, barely remembered star of Mindhorn, the aforementioned hit TV series.  A serial killer who calls himself the Kestrel is taunting the Isle of Mann police and insisting on speaking to his arch-nemesis, TV’s Mindhorn, so of course the police track down Richard to put on the eye patch one last time.
The movie is a portrait of failed ambition and middle age, occupying the same murky pathos as Ricky Gervais’s Extras, in addition to being a sly jab at American TV shows like Knightrider and Miami Vice.  Julian’s portrait of the selfish, self-centered actor Richard and his comically heroic alter-ego Mindhorn plays like an extended Mighty Boosch episode, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  There’s even a plasticine phone to add a surreal dimension and remind you of that once and Future Sailor’s journey through Time and Space.   The Isle of Mann jokes were a little too regional and alas, wasted on me.
The lovely Essie Davis from The Babadook (2014) and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (2012-2015) stars as Patricia Deville, Richard's former co-star/girlfriend, while Russell Tovey, the werewolf flat-mate from Being Human is Paul Melly, an escaped lunatic.  Also watch out for cameos by Gilderoy Lockhart himself, Kenneth Branagh and Steve Cogan.

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