Malkovich's titular mentalist is the primary focus of attention%u2014and sadly the source of many of the film's unique problems. In a career of strange performances, Malkovich turns in a true curiosity here%u2014and maybe it's because he is not, for once,
The problem isn't so much in the film's clumsy, hand-holding narration, or in its forced quirkiness. Rather it's that its most interesting character -- the one they named the thing after -- isn't the main character.
The younger Hanks is a blander version of his father, without any sense of the elder's hidden zaniness; Malkovich, unsurprisingly, is quite convincing as a man whose ego surrounds him like an enveloping fog.