From The Mighty Boosh to Mindhorn, Julian Barratt and Simon Farnaby team up yet again to both write and star in a tale of a once worshipped, now washed up 80’s actor Richard Thorncroft aka Mindhorn poking fun at the fame game with hilarious and pitiful sympathies.
As you would expect from the Mighty Boosh duo, Mindhorn is an out and out ridiculous adventure of silliness and absurdity. Lacking in originality and beset with imitative plot lines, not always such a bad thing when it’s conveyed with so much passion and a reluctant whole lot of heart for its hapless man of the moment whose career has hit rock bottom until he sees a great PR opportunity when he is called in to help on a real-life murder case.
Richard Thorncroft (Julian Barratt), once the star of the 80’s hit show as Mindhorn, a maverick detective with a robotic eye, in love with his leading lady and an ego as big as Mount Everest, hit rock bottom after the show was cancelled. Thorncroft vows to come back as big as ever, after insulting all to do with the show in a parting shot on Wogan, before jetting off to Hollywood to make his name. Fast forward to 2016, in a grotty little flat in Walthamstow East London, Thorncroft, with a bulging belly and a bald spot which resembles the parting of the red sea at the hands of Moses, his career is far from the Hollywood heights.
Whilst over in the Isle of Man, where the show was filmed, a suspected murderer, the Kestrel (Russell Tovey), is on the loose and the only person he will speak to his Mindhorn. Delusional and a little simple but with a sweet enduring nature, the Kestrel, an obsessive fan, thinks Mindhorn is real. He has a shrine to the show and the legend in his home and he knows if anyone can prove his innocence, through old VHS cassette that has all the evidence he needs, Mindhorn is just the man to do it. After a call from his Agent, Thorncroft sees an opportunity for his much-needed comeback with this case and returns to the Isle which is full of bittersweet memories and a whole host of humiliation. His old love Patricia (Essie Davies) is now a successful TV Journalist married to his old stuntman Clive (Simon Farnaby) who takes every opportunity to take cheap shots at Thorncroft and to add full to his ever drowning pit of misery, his old co-star Peter Eastman (Steve Coogan), is rolling in riches and women from his highly successful spin-off series, Windjammer.
Mindhorn is a tale of two halves, whilst the premise of the first half is full of hilarious mockery; the second is just downright ridiculous as Thorncroft goes on the run with the Kestrel whilst being glued into his own Mindhorn costume. Riding the wave of silliness and fantasy and an ending in which the creativity is lacking; it’s still cracking good fun.
Mindhorn is in cinemas May 5th.