Mindhunters (2004) starring LL Cool J, Jonny Lee Miller, Kathryn Morris, Val Kilmer, Christian Slater, Patricia Velasquez, Eion Bailey, Will Kemp, Clifton Collins Jr. directed by Renny Harlin Movie Review

Mindhunters (2004)   3/53/53/53/53/5

LL Cool J in Mindhunters (2004)

The Killer Inside

A group of FBI agents are going through a training profile to deal with serial killers; their training involves observation tasks as well as profiling a talent some of the agents use to get women's numbers in bars. One of their tests sees them taken to a remote island where a serial killer situation is staged and the team have to work out who the killer is with in 48 hours. The trouble is someone isn't playing the same game and one by one they are being picked off in gruesome ways.

Is Wayne Kramer a modern day Agatha Christie or is he just a fan of the sort of stories which Christie penned? You might be thinking I've lost the plot but "Mindhunters" takes the classic "killer amongst us" formula, the sort of theme which Christie would use but then gives it a modern, entertaining twist with the killer being one of the FBI agents on a serial killer profiling training exercise stuck on an isolated island.

Christian Slater in Mindhunters (2004)

What does that means? Well to start with we have some engaging fun as we listen to this group of young profilers working, but not on the job but in the bar where two of the young bucks use their skills to try and get a woman's digits. It quickly sets up this group of agents as whilst talented are also a little laid back and cocky in their attitude, thinking they know it all. And so it goes on and when we get thrown a shower sex scene you have a feeling that "Mindhunters" is going to be a throwaway action movie.

But the real entertainment comes when this group of agents are dumped on the island for a training exercise and they soon discover that someone is trying to kill them. It starts with someone you least expect buying it when the killer leaves a great egg race inspired booby trap and then we get another after another. Of course the point of all this is trying to work out which of them is the killer and director Renny Harlin handles all this effectively so we have action, humour but plenty of suspicion as all those involved could be the killer especially when the situation causes tempers to flare.

The only trouble is that whilst it is fun to be toyed with as we wonder who the serial killer is it goes on too long. At some point you need it to start resolving things but at the natural point it chooses not to and keeps on toying with the audience. Don't get me wrong as it successfully toys with you, keeps you guessing and twisting things but just because it can doesn't mean it should.

Aside from that well "Mindhunters" does have a few recognizable faces such as LL Cool J, Christian Slater and Jonny Lee Miller but it is a case that each actor whether it is Cool J or the attractive Patricia Velasquez playing to type. The familiarity of the characters and the confidence the actors exhibit in playing them works yet at the same time it is part of the reason why "Mindhunters" ends up feeling a little generic.

What this all boils down to is that "Mindhunters" is a good film and will entertain you with its playful attitude and the suspense of the story of a killer amongst a group of FBI trainees. But it will only entertain up to a point where you need something more than to be toyed with yet it doesn't deliver.