Mindhorn

Proudly and sarcastically announced as being ‘in 2D’, this spoof of 1980s British TV drama (principally the long-running Jersey-based detective show Bergerac) by Julian Barratt and Simon Farnaby also stars both men, the former playing washed-up actor Richard Thorncroft, who fleetingly found fame 30 years ago as Isle of Man-based detective Bruce Mindhorn (who had an experimental eyepatch fitted that enabled him to literally ‘see the truth’), and the latter playing his resentful Dutch stand-in/stuntman/love rival. This kind of throwaway, surreal silliness is right up my street, and although Mindhorn struggles to keep the early hit rate of gags and abject weirdness going, it’s got some terrific moments; I particularly liked the montage of Thorncrofts’s fall from grace, replete with drunken shame on a Wogan-style chat show. The plot’s neither here nor there and I’m not sure whether it’ll travel well – people watching in other countries may well be scratching their heads at the various mentions of John Nettles – but it’ll probably be helped by the fact that it also tips its hat to naff, widely-exported American shows like Knight Rider, as well as appearances by familiar faces (Steve Coogan, Kenneth Branagh, Andrea Riseborough and Simon Callow all feature). (***½)