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Fantasia Review: In a Valley of Violence
"Eenie, meenie, minie, moe...who’s the next motherfucker to go?"-- Gabe
I love Renny Harlin. Why? "Prison", "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane",
"Die Hard 2", "Cliffhanger", "Deep Blue Sea", The Long Kiss
Goodnight and "Driven", that’s why! For causes unknown to me,
Mindhunters' North American release date has been pushed back countless times by Dimension Films
since 2003. They did the same thing with two other fine films
"Equilibrium". Well now is the time! “Mindhunters”
has finally found its way onto the big screen (opens May 13 2005)!
As I was dancing with this cinematic badass, I kept saying to myself: ”This has gotta be one of the most effortless movies I’ve ever had to sit through”. Was the whole somewhat implausible? In places. Was it manipulative? Oh yeah! But I forgave it for that jive quickly and let myself be taken for the bumpy ride! Props to the king of "wham-bam" Renny Harlin, who puts out an airtight wing-ding of brutal bonbon that just wouldn’t stop winning me over via its relentless canon blasts of scrumptious horror conventions. We get it all here genre-fiends: a spine-chilling setting, imaginative booby traps, gory and wicked kills, ample macabre ideas (loved the “puppet” bit), mind-numbing riddles, slick killer MOs (adored the watch thing), flamboyant action set pieces (the gun/fist fights owned), a whodunit that kept me on my thumbs the whole way and a slew of unpredictable plot twists that backhanded me silly like the buffoon that I am. Add to that, Harlin lacing his twisted tale in riveting visuals and you get an already hard-hitting trip, jacked up to an even more rousing level! I felt like I was in the ring with Ivan Drago, being pummeled to a bloody pulp from all sides! THANK YOU FOR THE WHOOPING!
The appealing cast and the semi-drawn out characters they interpreted also lent a helping hand in making the proceedings exceptionally absorbing. The players were all likeable to various degrees and each of their characters brought something crucial to the extensive mindrape going on. I treasured ”The Thing”-like conflict they had between each other and at how the slaughterer capitalized on their individual weaknesses to snag them! FUN STUFF! Granted, Slater and Kilmer fans won’t get their fill with both stars basically punching in extended cameos here, but that actually played in the narrative’s favor! Having a cast of mostly unknowns in the forefront upped the unpredictability factor in terms of who was going to check out next. I was lapping it all up like Colin Farrell licking booze off the floor! Now if only LL Cool J would die in at least one of his films! Is that why the Ladies Love Cool J? Or is it that tight tanktop showing off those bulging biceps? COME ON LL! BITE THE BULLET ONCE!! Do it for Arrow!
Unfortunately, "Mindhunters" did sport some shortcomings. It moved too fast for its own good every now and then, the characters took part in the occasional dumb-ass move and minor plot holes arose along the way. But to be honest, those flaws didn’t grate me much. The film’s heftiest muck-up took place during its last act where logic was totally discarded in order to muddle our craniums. The approach wasn’t fair and it didn’t make much sense either. SHAME ON YOU LADDIES! Lastly, the killer’s motive for his dire actions was “ho-hum”, to say the least. According to this movie, they let any “yahoo” into the FBI. No wonder our society is in the shitter! And is it me or do psychos have too much time on their hands? Just get a job, get drunk and get laid dude(ette)! That’s all you need, bro-ham! It’s all about the love!
When the end credits rolled, I had a big grin on my stupid face. "Mindhunters" was a mostly well written, cruel and unrelenting outing that never stopped once to gasp for air...resulting in one hell of a fulfilling horror sitdown. The Finnish madman does it again! Good show, mate! HUNT THIS MOVIE DOWN NOW RECRUITS!