A group of seven profilers working for the FBI is put on an island and told to solve a fake crime scene as a test. While investigating the crime scene, one of their members dies in a terrible accident right in front of them. From that moment the group does their best to find the real killer on the island. It doesn’t take long until they start suspecting each other. From that moment they start to use their psychological profiling abilities to use on one another and the fake crime turns into a real game between each other.
There’s something to be said about the trend in psychological profiling in TV shows and movies. At the very base, it’s a good starting point for a good story. Mindhunters however, like many other movies and shows about profilers, lacks a good story. It’s a product mostly made to get a cut of the popularity of psychological profiling pie.
For starters, the deep analytical delving of the human psyche that’s needed to pull this kind of movie off correctly is missing in all fronts. We never explore the characters further than the stock caricatures of them that we see at the beginning. The deaths in the movie are said to exploit their strengths and weaknesses, but even that seems to fall flat. Giving up smoking is a defining quality for a character? Always acting as leader is another? It might sound like nitpicking unless you have seen the movie, but there really isn’t much more depth behind the characters that such points. Which feels odd when a movie tries to put itself down as intelligent, and it’s hard not to do this when having people exploiting basic human psychology at its very base.
The characters fall as flat as the expression on the main character, Sara Moore’s (portrayed Kathryn Morris) face. No matter how desperately the movie tries, the action scenes are as dead as the acting is wooden. And the setting is about as convincing as the comedic efforts are funny. I haven’t cringed watching a movie in a very long time. Mindhunters actually made me cringe several times.
Speaking of make-up, this movie has some of the worst make-up I’ve seen in a very long time. Any time a fake body, limb, or wound appears. It’s very, very obviously fake. Absolutely no effort was made to look anything vaguely believable at all. At times I had to look away because the effects were so atrocious that if I saw any more if it, I’d switch the movie off before reaching the conclusion.
In its attempt to come across as an intelligent and serious movie, the characters will love to spout unimportant facts about anything, no matter how little it has to do with the plot. During these scenes, the character talking will be a complete expert on this one single subject, while everyone else quietly stands to the side and listens. Very rarely do these scenes move the plot anywhere, or explain anything of value. The only purpose these scenes have is to tell us that they are the best at what they do and have a full understanding of their area of expertise. It’s an excruciating effort at exposition that could have been executed better in any single way but the one Mindhunters decided to go for.
About halfway through the movie, the conclusion that they’ll stumble upon near the end is already given away. After that the movie decided to just disregard it and mess around a good 40 minutes before turning back to the established plot. It’s even more painful in the fact that if they had pursued this further right from the moment it was discovered, the movie could have been a lot shorter and more enjoyable. Even if the over-the-top crazy ending would have still taken place.
I wouldn’t recommend Mindhunters to anyone, unless you’re watching it during a So Bad Its Good movie night. In that case, I suggest heavy alcohol usage to make your way through it. Perhaps a second go at this movie as a drinking game is in order.