Thursday, July 14, 2005


Mindhunters is titled after FBI's trained serial killer profilers, whose job is to get behind the mindset of such killers, and to profile them according to their perceived traits, trying to understand their motivations, and the who what why questions.

We start off with a brief introduction to a group of profiler rookies and their instructor (played by Val Kilmer), before joining them in a chill session where they show off their profiling techniques. Before you can say "FBI", our group is whisked to an island as part of their routine training, where they are to put what they learnt into practice. But things go awry and real deaths occur, and soon the survivors start to realize that there is actually a real serial killer amongst them.

The narrative is promising, with stars such as Val Kilmer and Christian Slater helming the show, or that's what I thought. When you bump off your stars early in the film, it serves as some kind of warning, wondering if the other lesser known leads will be able to shoulder the film to the finishing line. The premise has potential, but it degenerates into a normal Renny Harlin action movie with slasher tendencies - dismembered animal parts and creative killing scenes.

At times, you thought you're watching Battle Royale, with the island setting, the characters' suspicion on one another, the explicit gore element, the use of a public announcement system, and so on. Or I thought it was another "The Haunting", where the audience goes into whodunit mode while character after character gets bumped off, except that the environment is different. Or the killings look strangely like a bad cousin of Saw's sadistic games.

Though I must give the film some credit, as I didn't really manage to identify who the serial killer was until the very last minute. On the other hand, I felt that the movie somehow cheated by not explaining enough of the backstory, and then telling us "oh yeah, that was what happened, so that's why I'm doing what I'm doing now".

Mindhunters explores the mind behind the serial killer. Or at least attempts to. In summary, if they had stuck more to the profiling process and techniques (with some glimpses of CSI on the big screen), it could probably sustain and emerge as a more intelligent thriller.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...