Among other projects Julian Barratt is probably best known for appearing in kooky comedy series, ‘The Mighty Boosh’. This might give you a clue as to the eccentric humour you can expect from his latest film, ‘Mindhorn’. In which, he plays washed up actor Richard Thorncroft who has to reprise his role as TV detective, Mindhorn, one last time in order to assist a murder investigation.
The comedy present is quite silly, you’ll either connect with it or you won’t. It’s very British and reminded me of films like ‘Hot Fuzz’ & ‘Johnny English’. There is a mix of plain old slapstick, more whimsical gags but also some very witty jokes. So whilst it has an overall nonsensical tone to it there may be certain elements you find amusing even if as a whole film it doesn’t quite work for you. There isn’t really too much going on in terms of narrative as it’s more of a vessel for the comedy itself. Other than the main gimmick of Thorncroft having to impersonate his previous character it’s really just another bog standard comedy crime flick. It lingers a little too long on the screen too which raised questions in me of whether or not it would have been better suited to a TV episode rather than a film? However, the comedy did work for me so always just held those doubts at bay.
The film managed to attract a large cast, with impressive names popping up left, right and centre. Barratt nails both of his performances, securing many of the films laughs with his perfect delivery. He was so natural at it that at times I even missed the gags until I rethought what I’d just heard. Barratt aside you can play Brit comedy bingo with the rest of the cast which includes Kenneth Branagh, Andrea Riseborough, Steve Coogan, Russell Tovey & Simon Farnaby to name a few! I thought all the performances suited the style of the film very well. Some have cameo sized appearances and others are fully fledged supporting characters but they all have a great chemistry which really helps the comedy to land. If anything I would have liked Coogan to have a bigger role. The unique relationship that his character had with Thorncroft was one of the funniest sections of the writing, seeing this be more developed would only have created more laughter.
The truth about ‘Mindhorn’ is that Barratt’s exclusive sense of humour won’t land with all audiences. I think he’s aware of this though and he’s no need to worry as the viewers who do get this type of comedy should have a blast with it. I found the film constantly amusing but never hysterical, however many in the showing I saw it in were experiencing comedy of the latter kind. Like something straight out of channel 4’s Friday night listings ‘Mindhorn’ offers silly fun and an ample way to pass your time.
Rating – 7/10
Question: What’s the funniest film you’ve seen so far in 2017?
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