Mindhunters Renny Harlin

By any rational standard, Mindhunters is purest swill, a ludicrous combination of '80s action fury and "then there were none" thrillers that plays like Agatha Christie's Die Hard. But despite (or due to) this massive flaw, it manages to be good campy fun all the same. A group of FBI trainees are set down on an island that serves as a training camp; alas, one of their number is a serial killer and he manages to strand them on the island and kill them one by one. It's up to the recruits (including Christian Slater, Jonny Lee Miller, and Kathryn Morris) and hangers-on (instructor Val Kilmer, program auditor LL Cool J) to figure out who's the baddie before something blows up again. Everything about the production is ridiculous, from the would-be ingeniousness of the killings to the one-trait-only characters and the pathetic attempts at witty banter, i.e., "We've found his weakness. He hates bullets." But as directed by '90s action schlockmeister Renny Harlin, the whole thing moves like a bullet train and looks like a dance club, making you laugh at every absurdity instead of groaning. Great art it's not, but as fantastic cheese it goes a long way, managing to involve you in a parade of over-stylised images and machine-gun edits. It may only be the beginning of a drinking game, but there are worse fates for a movie. Extras include a director's commentary that impresses with its seriousness; Harlin is no-nonsense in dealing with the nuts and bolts of his formalist fripperies and sticks to the facts instead of "it was cold that day." Rounding out the package are three underwhelming "making of" featurettes dealing with the production, a stunt sequence and Harlin making thin witticisms around the "Crimetown" set. (Alliance Atlantis)