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Mindhunters

Genre: Mystery Thriller/Horror
Rated: R
Directed by
: RENNY HARLIN
Starring: VAL KILMER, CHRISTIAN SLATER, LL COOL J, KATHRYN MORRIS, WILL KEMP, CLIFTON COLLINS, JR., PATRICIA VELASQUEZ, JONNY LEE MILLER, EION BAILEY
Released by: Dimension Films/Miramax

In Short: With a plot completely stolen from Agatha Christie and nothing new or surprising to set it apart, this gory murder mystery is a predictable bore.

Been There, Seen That
A Poorly Rehashed Classic
By Jenny Peters

Anyone who has read the book or seen one of the movie versions of Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" (a.k.a. "Ten Little Indians") already knows the whole plot of "Mindhunters." In Christie's classic 1939 tale, ten strangers are lured to a deserted island and then systematically killed off; in the totally ripped-off version told in "Mindhunters," eight wannabe FBI serial-killer profilers are dropped onto a deserted island for a training simulation. Can you guess what happens next?

Unfortunately, it is painfully easy to figure out every element of "Mindhunters," right down to which of the politically correct protagonists is going to be brutally (and graphically) killed off next. It's as if director Renny Harlin said, "Get me an actor from every ethnic group, so that everyone watching will have someone to identify with and feel close to."

There's the beautiful Latina, the wheelchair-bound egghead, the big strong black guy who always does the right thing, a couple of intellectual white guys, and an emotionally tormented white female who might not be up to snuff for the elite FBI job of profiler. It's amazing that there isn't a wise Asian fellow on the team; apparently that was the one casting cliché the filmmaker decided to avoid. But it's the only one he missed.

There are actually a few glimmers of creativity in the film (which was shot way back in 2002 and has languished on the studio shelves ever since), including a couple of clever death traps, but overall it is a pale imitation of Christie’s original. For a much better movie experience, rent the 1945 film "And Then There Were None" to see how this story should be told.


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