Director Renny Harlin is a capable director. He directed the superb Cliffhanger (1993) and Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990) and The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996). Unfortunately, he also directed the infamous Cutthroat Island (1995) and Exorcist: The Beginning (2004) and 12 Rounds (2009) so no one is perfect. This latter category is where his film Mindhunters (2004) fits.
Jake Harris (Val Kilmer) has a new training program for his FBI profiling agents in which they are taken to a remote location in order to solve a mystery using all their knowledge as a team to work together for a common goal. Only this time someone has taken his game and made it all to fatally real as one by one they are knocked off until they are able to discover who is really trying to kill them all and why.
The film has a very impressive cast with Christian Slater as the leader of the FBI profilers followed by Jonny Lee Miller, Clifton Collins, Jr., Will Kemp, Kathryn Morris, and Patricia Velasquez. LL Cool J also stars as a cop there to evaluate the Harris’ program. The production values are also very good and Harlin does a great job staging the action sequences.
The problem with the film is that none of the characters are interesting and they all kind of come off as cowards. In a film such as this, which is a mystery, the goal should be to discover who is behind this but there is an illogical blame game that goes on throughout the entire film where each character blames the other. This gets old really quick especially since none of the characters are likable or interesting to begin with. Two-thirds of the way through the film I was wondering when it would all just end as I was bored out of my mind. Usually, I depend upon Harlin to at least make his films entertaining (I mean even 12 Rounds had its moments) but this film just dragged on forever and wanted to be smarter than it actually was.
The film is written by Kevin Brodbin and Wayne Kramer (who also provided the story) and it’s a high concept film that just falls apart under the improbability of it all. It’s a ludicrous concept film that while it may look good dies a quick death.