Criminal – Movie Review

CriminalCriminal – R
Release Date: Fri 15 Apr 2016

Kevin Costner and his haircut star in this sci-fi action movie about a mentally ill criminal named Jericho (Costner) whose mind is augmented with memories from a deceased CIA agent (Ryan Reynolds.) Tommy Lee Jones appears as the doctor who transplants the memories and tries to help Jericho, Gary Oldman plays the CIA boss trying to get the memories back, and Gal Gadot plays the dead agent’s wife who Jericho begins to experience feelings for from the memories.

It takes a lot to make a premise like human memory transfer a premise that lends itself to a compelling story. Unfortunately Criminal is not quite up to the challenge as the writing is extremely trite and the majority of the characters have a single speed. Gary Oldman probably gets the worst of this as his CIA agent is written as an impatient idiot who falls for absolutely every trick and immediately burns bridges is there’s a hint that he won’t need it anymore. Kevin Costner has the most to do, and turns in a decent performance that conveys the internal struggle in his head – even though the movie needs to insert blurry flashbacks every few minutes to explain to the audience that Ryan Reynold’s character loved Gal Gadot’s. (One wonders how many days they filmed Gal Gadot running along the beach looking into the camera.)

I can’t help but be reminded of the 2014 film 3 Days To Kill, a funnier and more interesting action movie led by Costner. That one was co-written by Luc Besson and directed by McG. This one feels like actors mostly just cashing paychecks.

Amber, Aaron, Nathan and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car:


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