MINDHUNTERS (Renny Harlin). 106 minutes. Opens Friday (May 13). For venues and times, see Movies, page 102. Rating: NN Rating: NN
I am so tired of serial killers. They've made for lazy film clichés since 1991's The Silence Of The Lambs set the mould. Gaudy crimes, gruesome home decor, a line of twisted self-justification - that's it. These films have become mere place-holders, devoid of meaning and emotional power.
Ripping off Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians doesn't help either Mindhunters or the genre. In her 1939 classic, already filmed at least seven times, a group of disparate individuals are lured to an isolated island and murdered one by one. The killer is one of them. Here, the guests are trainee FBI profilers, hardly a disparate group.
They're not the sort you'd expect to panic and turn on one another, all shrill irrationality couched in hackneyed cop jargon, but they do. It's a ludicrous proposition for highly trained cops. You're watching stock characters and standard TV acting all the way to the killer's big, senseless speech.
Director Renny Harlin (Deep Blue Sea, Cliffhanger) knows how to deliver atmosphere and jolts. But only the climactic gunfight achieves even a silly originality. When it hits DVD, rent it for the gunfight alone.