I wonder if the producers of Criminal regret giving it its title as it's opened the flood gates for reviewers to have a real go at the film. Criminal waste
of talent, criminal waste of time and a criminal waste of money are just some of the less then flattering descriptions of Criminal the film.
Is the film as bad as some of the reviews would make out, sadly the answer is yes. Criminal's story is ridiculous and confusing and some of the
performances border on being awful.
The film opens with CIA agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) delivering a computer hacker Jan Stroop (Michael Pitt) to a safe house in London.
Pope then goes and collects a black back of money that he has to give to Stroop so that Stroop won't sell his flash drive holding US defence codes to the
highest bidder. Unfortunately before Pope can make the exchange he is captured by a notorious terrorist.
Refusing to give up Stroops location to the terrorist Pope is killed before the CIA rescue team, led by Quaker Wells (Gary Oldman), arrive.
Fearing that the terrorists will find Stroop before the CIA do Wells enlists the help of Dr Franks (Tommy Lee Jones), a maverick neurosurgeon, who claims
that he's able to transplant the memory of a dead man into the brain of a living person.
The CIA then in their wisdom decide to transplant Popes memories into the head of Jericho Stewart (Kevin Costner). Unfortunately, Jericho is a vicious
death row inmate who suffers from frontal lobe syndrome, honestly you couldn't make this up.
Once the memory transplant takes place Jericho decides that he's not going to work for the CIA and escapes their custody. Jericho then starts to get
flashbacks of the Popes past life which eventually leads him to the dead agents widow and child. The rest of the film becomes a chase as Oldman's CIA boss
try's to track down Jericho before the terrorists do and extract the position of Stroop from his memory.
Costner's character is a brutal killer with absolute no redeeming qualities, in one scene he forces the CIA car that he's in into the path of an oncoming
car forcing the two cars to collide. Then once he drags himself out of the car and after brutally killing the two CIA agents he drags the poor incident
driver of the other and chains him to the CIA car and then for no reason sets him on fire. He even punches a man in the face in a coffee shop for no other
reason than he ridicules his latte.
Reynolds is perhaps the only one who comes out of this mess with his credibility intact, and that's only because he's only in the film for the first 10
minutes. Costner growls his way through the film whilst Oldman's character seems to shout every line at the top of his voice, and as for poor Tommy Lee
Jones, he just looks as if he wishes he was somewhere else.
Starring: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Alice Eve, Gal Gadot, Tommy Lee Jones, Ryan Reynolds
UK Release: Friday 22nd April 2016