Mindhunters

Bomb Rating: 

I'm not often confused at the end of a movie, but I'd swear I fell asleep with my eyes open during this one because the climax is virtually incomprehensible.

"Mindhunters" is aptly titled. Unfortunately, none of the FBI agents trapped on the secret island training facility miraculously discovers director Renny ("Cutthroat Island") Harlin's brain lying around, so I was massively disappointed.

Harlin, who used to be a Hollywood darling, is now making crap like this for a reason. However, even on his own personal island of lowered expectations, he proves himself to be one of the few directors inept enough to screw up an idea so simple it's already been the genesis of hundreds of mystery novels: A bunch of people are in a place and one of them is a killer.

What's supposed to make this film interesting is that the people in the room are all FBI agents-in-training. The head of the training department, Jake Harris (Val Kilmer) throws them on the island hoping to take them through one last, and very difficult, exercise. When people actually start dying, the trainees must use their skills to survive as the killer uses their weaknesses against them.

Sadly, the screenplay feeds the villain some easy prey and Harlin makes absolutely no effort to pretend that particular characteristics are anything more than a reason for a character to be brutalized before the film ends. Thus,

J.D. Reston (Christian Slater), is the leader and always out in front and gets offed while out in front. Nicole (Patricia Velasquez) just quit smoking and can't resist a cigarette and thus, gets killed smoking. You get the idea. Bobby (Eion Bailey) always has to be the guy who fixes things. Vince (Clifton Collins Jr.) is in a wheelchair and never goes anywhere without his gun. Sara (Kathryn Morris) freezes under pressure. Lucas Harper (Jonny Lee Miller) can't get over having once dated Angelina Jolie. Tagging along as an observer is a regular cop, Gabe Jensen (LL Cool J). In other words, he's not one of the group, so everyone immediately suspects him.

I'm not often confused at the end of a movie, but I'd swear I fell asleep with my eyes open during this one because the climax is virtually incomprehensible. Harlin uses the kind of misdirection I'd liken to a cop waving cars into oncoming traffic. It makes no sense. I'd like to live long enough to see Harlin make something other than a B-movie, but… Well, actually, I don't care what Harlin does.

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