Scott Brown
May 11, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Mindhunters

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
105 minutes
Wide Release Date
05/13/05
performer
Val Kilmer, LL Cool J, Eion Bailey, Kathryn Morris, Christian Slater
director
Renny Harlin
distributor
Dimension Films
author
Wayne Kramer (Director)
genre
ActionAdventure

We gave it a C+

With Deep Blue Sea, director Renny Harlin set the B-thriller bar pretty high. The Finnish auteur who gave us smart sharks (not to mention the most elegantly truncated Samuel L. Jackson monologue on record) now riffs on Ten Little Indians, with each potential victim/killer a fresh-faced profiler cadet. In Mindhunters what begins as a routine FBI training session on (naturally) a remote island quickly turns into an unscheduled bloodbath: One by one, the trainees are picked off by a killer who’s almost certainly one of them. (Or possibly their mentor, a barely there Val Kilmer.) Given the psycho’s methods — elaborate stratagems involving dominoes, liquid nitrogen, creeeepy kiddie music, etc. — one suspects either Rube Goldberg or a video-store clerk. The twists in movies like these have become exercises in schlock math (subtract a character, divide by running time, add a red-herring cliché), and the revelations bring no more satisfaction than consulting an answer key. What does satisfy is the pleasantly becalming presence of Deep costar LL Cool J. He’s fast becoming Liv Ullmann to Harlin’s Bergman.</p

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