May, 2005, Thriller

Directed by:Renny Harlin

Starring:LL Cool J, Jonny Lee Miller, Kathryn Morris, Patricia Velásquez, Clifton Collins Jr., Eion Bailey, Will Kemp, Trevor White, With Val Kilmer, and And Christian Slater

There was a time when the Finnish-born director Renny Harlin was associated with big budget action movies that garnered solid commercial success, (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger) but if this tired exercise in mayhem in any indication, his salad days as the creator of blockbusters is over. Keying off the financial success of Identity two years ago, Harlin and screenwriter Wayne Kramer (The Cooler) use a combination of thriller and horror ingredients to rehash a plot lifted directly from Agatha Christie's famous "Ten Little Indians", with a touch of CSI's hi-tech criminology thrown in for good measure.

 Mindhunters deposits a supposedly crack team of F.B.I. "profilers" on an island as part of a training exercise and then proceeds to slaughter them, one by one. Kathryn Morris, who's rather delicate features are the only redeeming feature of the T.V. series "Cold Case" plays the female lead here, surrounded by a handful of handsomely vapid young white males who are killed off in appropriately grisly fashion. Rapper LL Cool J, looking a lot better than his stage-name warrants, displays a buff physique to compliment his negligible acting ability while veterans Christian Slater and Val Kilmer put in appearances that are so short one has to wonder at the trajectory of their careers too. 

Harlin's always good for at least one decent action scene, and it comes here during a shootout in a swimming pool…but it's too little too late. The plot's inane, the motivations of the principals simply unbelievable and the action so formulaic the audience remains two steps ahead of the characters every step of the way.  The hype of newspaper ads to the contrary notwithstanding, a mystery it's not. 

An air of tired desperation seeps through every frame of this one, signaling that the creative talent involved may soon be appearing in work that goes direct to the video store. 

The Verdict? There's only one word for this one--and it's DUD. 

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