Mindhorn ***

3 out of 5 stars

From the minds of Julian Barrett and Simon Barnaby (of ‘The Mighty Boosh’) comes this new British comedy film that’s funnier, less surreal and more grounded than expected. Mindhorn is a fictional cult/forgotten TV series from the 80s – if you imagine a cheap British knock-off of The Six Million Dollar Man by way of Bergerac, starring Dennis Waterman, you’ll get a rough idea of the level we are on. When the down and out actor of that show played by Barrett, channelling Steven Toast (of London), revisits his only breakout role in order to catch a killer on the Isle of Man, hilarity ensues.  With a gamed supporting cast that includes Andrea Riseborough, Essie Davis (from ‘The Babadook’ who plays a Rula Lenska/Diana Rigg type sidekick/love interest) and a liberated, free as a kestrel Russell Tovey; a decent gag ratio with a few inspired comedy moments and immensely quotable lines which I hope the freshness of which won’t be lessened by repeat bombardment by a lazy trailer, this is a loving homage done with genuine warmth. While the ending doesn’t make much sense – but when do they ever do in those TV shows? – anyone who has grown up in the 70s/80s watching them will appreciate and be swept away by these references and the very silliness of it all.

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