Mindhunters (2004) Review

One from the re watch pile…
Mindhunters (2004)

Mindhunters DVD cover


Film: My favourite TV shows, post X-Files, have always been those ones that hunt serial killers and that sort of stuff. Sure, I can occasionally be found watching Rick and Morty or Pok√®mon or Doctor Who, but those that I really get into are police procedural ones. I don’t know why, but I really enjoy them.

Criminal Minds is a particular favourite.

This trickles over to films as well, and I am guessing my love of gialli echoes that fandom as well. That whodunnit aspect of the film where you yourself get involved in the policework as you try to outsmart the detective by coming to your conclusion first.

Mindhunters is an interesting choice as it was an attempt by Renny Harlin to do a cinema version of those TV shows that were super popular at that time, but what he did was mix it up with a bunch of well known faces, like Val Kilmer, LL Cool J (who went on to NCIS Los Angeles) and Christian Slater along with several newer faces such as Kathryn Morris (who went into Cold Case), Patricia Velasquez and Clifton Collins Jr.

Val Kilmer eats cake: no one is surprised.


Mindhunters tells of a group of young FBI agents who are training to become profilers. Part of their training is to be taken to an island called Omega Island, by their trainer Jake Harris (Kilmer) to profile a fake serial killer who has committed a fake crime. Along for the ride is a cop (LL Cool J) who is observing Harris’ training methods.

Unfortunately for our crew, there is a real serial killer on the island, one who is slowly picking them off one by one, but has someone snuck on the island to perform these murders, or is Harris a nutbag killer himself, or is it one of the students with some kind of grudge?

Even though it doesn’t really read as a super film, and more a direct to DVD loser, I actually really dig this film, but as I stated earlier, that’s mainly due to my love of police procedural shows. It’s an eclectic cast who shouldn’t work together really, but that adds to the suspicion and mistrust.

Kilmer and Slater are really only here for the cache their names provide, and don’t appear for great periods of time.

L to R: Morris, Velasquez, Collins Jr, LL Cool J and Miller


Essentially this film is nothing more than an 80s slasher, with a group of people trapped in a remote location with a killer on the lose, but the Saw-like traps, and oddball characters make it a far more interesting watch.
Score: ****

Mindhunters DVD menu screen


Format: This film was reviewed on the Australian release region 4 DVD which runs for approximately 101 minutes and is presented in a pretty good 2.35:1 image with an excellent Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

Score: ****

Extras: You would this a DTV film like this would not have many extras, but it does!

Director Renny Harlin gives us a pretty good commentary about the making of the film and various other aspects of this film, including actually FBI procedures. One thing I really like about this commentary is that the dialogue of the film is subtitled during the commentary so you can still follow the script whilst Harlin is making his musings.

Profiling Mindhunters is a collection of interviews with cast and crew about what it rook to create the film.

Stunt Sequence looks at the behind the scenes choreography of the stunts, focusing on one particular scene that had an extensive fight sequence.

A Director’s Walk Through Crimetown sees Harlin look at the mock up town used in the film as the training ground for the young FBI trainees. 

There are also trailers on this disc for The Longest Yard, Layer Came, The Marksman and xXx: The Next Level.

Score: ***1/2

WISIA: It’s not the greatest film but it’s compelling, and I give it a regular respin.

Slater’s performance? Smashing!