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Mindhunters (Renny Harlin)

"Relies on twists and turns when the star power leave"

On a remote island, the FBI has a training program for their psychological profiling division, called "Mindhunters", used to track down serial killers. The training goes horribly wrong, however, when a group of seven young agents discover that one of them is a serial killer, and is setting about slaying the others through elaborate traps. Each death is predicted at a certain time and the 7 profiling agents have to wait till their time comes.

Here is a film that looks to have it all, a great cast, a director that can deliever thrills, a pretty good premise, and a mystery/who is the killer style type ending. Well, looks can be decieving as only half of this is true. Harlin is able to deliever the shocks and thrills that he wanted to, but in the end, it hurt the film more then it did good.

Val Kilmer is an actor who would choose more interesting roles, then basic money grabbers, even Batman Forever would classify as an interesting role, as BATMAN, until schumacher...but here in mindhunters we get Kilmer for a mere 15 minutes. In that short time span he does manage to own the screen giving a good performance to something so little. Slater is another big name actor attached to this thriller that doesn't last long, one can only assume that these two actors needed some cash fast and did a quick gig here to fulfill the need.

Once these two highlights of the film are gone, the only person known to the major audience would be LL Cool J, who you know will survive because it's LL cool J.
WARNING: "Mindhunters" spoilers below
Seeing Slater killed off so early is a shock to the audience and is basically a way of saying that anything can happen to these characters at anytime, know you're left with no name actors to watch...watch them all die.

Harlin keeps us interested in the story as the killer leaves a watch with a time set on it, which indicates at what time the next person is going to die. We have no clue who and no clue how, but what we do know is that it will be some kind of contraption. Much like the jigsaw killer, the victims are put in these inescapable predicaments.

The ending to the film is the downfall, it could have been a tighter ending. It may take a second viewing to understand what happens, not because it's a confusing story, but they way they presented it to the viewer was confusing. If Harlin were able to better explain the situation and not just try to make the audience believe one thing for the sake of a shock/twist, then Mindhunter could have been a great thriller, but with it's flaws and misleads, it falls a couple feet short of goodness. It still stands as a popcorn flick to enjoy, and not think too hard about when it wants you to.