Mind Hunters


Director: Renny Harlin

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

The two biggest stars (Christian Slater & Val Kilmer) in this slick but cheezy exploitation film are one way or the other written out of the plot earliest, so it's one of those films that gets the big names for a couple of days' shoot, so that the advertisements will imply a bigger film than will unfold.

The actual star, however, ain't all that bad: Kathryn Morris from the television series Cold Case. She's clearly the star in terms of screen time & central importance to what passes for a story, but she lacked sufficient star-power to get top billing.

The support cast including L. L. Cool J turn in a more than adequate action-film job, though their efforts don't add up to anything consequential. It's supposed to be a thriller but it comes closer to being a blood & guts slasher. A couple of the murder sequences are imaginative & totally gross-out, especially the Rube Goldberg trap concluding in Death By Liquid Hydrogen (although it's a tad unfortunate no other death trap quite lives up to the first).

The premise is very thin & really only an excuse for mayhem: A group of serial killer profilers are (on some flimsy premise) isolated on an island & given a pretend crime to solve. But someone in their group is profiling the profilers, leading them one by one down the garden path of individualized doom.

There are no clues to speak of as the film bounds along, so there really isn't a mystery to solve here. "Who's doing it" remains pretty much a random choice until the finale. And when the last standing members of the party do figure it out, they figured out nothing really, there just wasn't anyone left, so the out-profiled profilers never do turn out to be even half intelligent about anything. As storytelling goes it's not much & it's unsatisfying, though it scores high for flashy emptyheaded pizzaz.

If one is in the mood for a noisy bloody grossly violent action film with good-of-kind performances, imaginative-of-kind death scenes, & a stupid-of-kind plot, this one can be entertaining as all get-out.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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