Mindcage Review - Twisted Plot Delivers Slow, but Intriguing, Crime Drama

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Mindcage, from Lionsgate, brings to the screen a twisted psychological crime drama that pits a young detective and her seasoned partner against the wits of an incarcerated criminal mastermind as they race to catch a copycat killer.

The film begins with a priest walking through an empty church and suddenly he turns to see what appears to be an adorned statue. The female, postmortem, has been dressed and painstakingly adorned to appear to be an artist's rendition of an Elizabethan picture. Her body has been coated with paint and she appears to be a mannequin.

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Detective Jake Doyle, played by Martin Lawrence, arrives at the scene to find his partner Mary Kelly, played by, Melissa Roxburgh, appearing to begin the examination of the crime scene. He stops her explaining, a detective never begins the examination until your partner arrives.

During the department meeting we understand whoever the killer is he is a copycat of the infamous serial killer known as The Artist, played by John Malkovich, who is safely incarcerated in the state prison for the insane and is scheduled to be executed in two weeks.

To catch the copycat, detectives seek his help, and the department sends in Mary, who is new to the force to pull clues from his brilliant but twisted psyche, and soon she is meeting his demands with each show of trustworthiness he provides simple yet helpful clues.

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Even with his help, the copycat killer continues to elude police and the killer is taunting them with each body holding a new clue as to the next victim. Throughout all this we are understanding Detective Doyle is pulled into the world of Satanism, exorcism, and the beginnings of the war between good and evil.

And Detective Kelly is on the opposite end of the spectrum and for reasons that are reveled throughout the story she has turned away from any acknowledgement of religion or deity.

The Artist's ultimate demand of having his sentence commuted to life in prison, is being considered when the Lt. Governor is abducted. Soon the detectives are lured into a diabolical game of cat and mouse, racing against time to stay one step ahead of The Artist and his copycat.

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In this spellbinding thriller, Mindcage, delivers heightened suspense. Although, at first glance the twisted plot seems a bit exaggerated and struggles to deliver to it's potential. I think examining the cognitive implications, which is touched on through Voodoo, would have increased the intrigue.

Even with that the pacing is slow, and I believe the director could have pulled more from the talent. Mindcage doesn't spoon-feed the audience with obvious clues. Throughout the film, what is seen as nuanced character traits or even necessary investigation, becomes integral to the plot, Easter eggs, hiding in plain sight.

Mindcage is available on VOD and though streaming platforms. See it.

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Country: U.S.

Language: English.

Runtime: 107minutes.

Director: Mauro Borrelli.

Producer: Cassandra Gava, Oscar Generale, Daniel Grodnik, Mitchell Welch.

Writer: Reggie Keyohara III.

Cast: Martin Lawrence, Melissa Roxburgh, John Malkovich, Robert Knepper, Aiden Turner, Jacob Grodnik, Chris Mullinax.

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