A CIA agent’s memories are planted into a murderer’s brain in a last ditch effort to save the world from annihilation in this star studded thriller.
BQB here with a review of Criminal.
Be forewarned – SPOILERS will be implanted into your brain if you read any further.
Movieclips Trailers – Criminal (2016)
I have to admit it. I went into this film wanting to hate it. Kevin Costner is old as dirt and though that’s not something to make fun of him about because it happens to the best of us, his last action movie 3 Days to Kill was lame to the point where I wondered maybe he ought to start playing older respectable folk (like he did well in Man of Steel) and let the parts that involve running around to the youngsters.
Yet, he surprised me here as he was well suited to the part – a bumbling oaf who would never be able to pull off a spy mission without having a spy’s memories implanted into his brain.
Did that sound like a backhanded compliment? OK yes but it wasn’t meant to be. (Or was it?)
Ryan Reynolds is Billy Pope, a CIA agent who dies before he’s able to share crucial information with his superiors that could prevent a terrorist from destroying the world. Yes, the whole damn world is at stake.
This is Reynolds’ second brain transfer movie. He and Sir Ben Kingsley swapped brains in Self/Less. Super hero flicks and brain transfer movies are what Double-R is all about now.
Gary Oldman, as CIA boss Quaker Wells, enlists Tommy Lee Jones’ Dr. Franks to step up an experimental memory transfer process that’s he’s never tested on humans before.
The guinea pig is Jericho Stewart (Kevin Costner) a convicted criminal who, due to a brain injury as a child, has no concept of right or wrong or how to behave in society.
He’s very dangerous but he’s not Hannibal Lecter. Lecter knew what he was doing.
Jericho, on the other hand, is basically an old feral animal. If he wants something, he takes it. If someone gets in his way, he kills them. If he wants to do something then he does it without a grasp of why he shouldn’t.
Costner shined in this part, playing Jericho as a broken down ignoramus who, thanks to the memories of nice and noble Billy Pope, suddenly develops knowledge and skills he can use to defeat the evil terrorist Heimdahl (Jordi Molla).
Gal Gadot leaves her lasso at home to play Pope’s wife and help Jericho on his mission.
Michael Pitt, who you may remember as Jimmy Darmody in Boardwalk Empire, plays “the Dutchman” i.e. the man who can help Jericho save the day.
In short, when I go to a movie wanting to hate it and come out liking it, it’s a rare surprise.
Is there the occasional plot hole? Sure. One thing I noticed was despite what a dangerous monster Jericho is portrayed as, the various agents don’t seem to put a whole helluva lot of effort into his security…but…hey. It’s an action movie.
Go see it.