A washed-up actor from ’80s detective show Mindhorn (Julian Barratt) must work with the police when a suspected serial killer (Russell Tovey) demands to speak to Detective Mindhorn. It’s Galaxy Quest meets Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.
Produced by Ridley Scott (and probably not as funny as Alien: Covenant), this British comedy struggles from only having one idea, and it’s one we’ve seen before – not just in Galaxy Quest, but also that episode of Futurama where a Trekkie kidnaps the Star Trek cast, or that episode of real life where an actor in a Crimewatch reconstruction was accused of being the actual murderer.
Even the spoof of bad ’80s TV shows feels much too tame, again suffering in comparison to times when the joke has been executed more carefully and savagely, most notably Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace, in which Barratt actually appeared.
His script (co-written with Simon Farnaby) reads like a first draft, while the action amounts to no more than a carefully managed tour of the Isle of Man’s most picturesque destinations. The lack of any sort of investment also dooms every attempt at pathos, so the film just ends up depressing.
Trading solely in toothless versions of jokes recycled from Extras, Anchorman and Hot Fuzz, Mindhorn will satisfy no one but the Isle of Man tourist board.