Thursday, January 12, 2017

Criminal Movie Review

Criminal (2016
Buy Criminal on Amazon Video
Written by: Douglas Cook, David Weisberg
Directed by: Ariel Vromen
Starring: Kevin Costner, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Pitt, Alice Eve, Gary Oldman
Rated: R

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

A dead CIA agent's consciousness is implanted into a death row inmate to complete a covert mission.

It's nothing new to the genre. If you like action movies there are better offerings, as this is contrived and predictable. It's derivative, forcing it's way into the genre that already has Taken (2008) or Lock Out (2012). Watch those instead.
Skip it.

This starts with the annoying trope of showing the last scene first before flashing back. The scene's only purpose was to reassure us Costner is in the movie. Is Kevin Costner angling for the Liam Neeson roles of grizzled action movie star? It seems like it after this and 3 Days to Kill (2014).

Then we get the proper introduction with secret agent Ryan Reynolds. A tragedy occurs and the government forces a scientist (Tommy Lee Jones) to put the consciousness of Reynold's character into Jerico (Kevin Costner). The CIA needs his memories because he's the only one that knows the location of a hacker with a computer program that can rule the world.
Will Reynolds do any body switching movie? He just did Self/less (2015). At least this time he's a donor.

Of course this procedure has never been attempted on humans. It's a silly sci-fi premise just so we can give a psychopath purpose. Jerico lacks empathy and impulse control. He's the worst of the worst, but a unique brain injury makes him the perfect candidate to transfer memories.

This type of movie has been done so many times before. In essence, it's Taken (2008) with a bad guy lead. This is the only effort the movie makes to be unique. Let's make our main hero a terrible scourge of the Earth type guy. The movie then tries to undo Jerico by having his new memories humanize him. As bad as Jerico is, I'm willing to bet money that Taken Liam Neeson would easily beat him. The one arguable power Jerico has, and this movie never really uses it. In one scene he beats somebody with a lamp. that's it.
There's also a one note villain that tells the press he wants to save the world while in reality he wants the computer program that will control nuclear missiles.

Jerico has to recall memories to help find this hacker, while also forced into situations where he has to help his pseudo family. Can he find the hacker before he loses his new memories? That's right, the procedure is only temporary... or is it.

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