Sunday, December 11, 2016

Movie review: Criminal

With a global terrorist threat looming, the one CIA operative able to stop it has been killed. Implementing a bold plot, the dead CIA agent's memories are transplanted into a condemned prisoner.

Kevin Costner (Jerico), Gary Oldman (Quaker), Tommy Lee Jones (Dr. Franks), Ryan Reynolds (Pope), Jordi Molla (Heimdahl), Gal Gadot (Jill Pope), Michael Pitt (Strook/The Dutchman), Amaury Nolasco (Ruiza).

Criminal begins with a brief bit of backstory and character introduction before CIA agent Pope is killed and the main plot shows up. After Pope's memories are transferred to Jerico things get much more interesting with the global terrorist plot underway and the two men's minds fighting for control of Jerico. The rest of the film is a mild crime action adventure with a somewhat familiar plot and surprising lack of audience engagement.

Acting was a bit disappointing in Criminal. Costner, though he delivered nicely, was reduced to a grunting angry guy with few lines. Reynolds could have phoned in his part as it was little more than a cameo. Oldman did well with good energy presentation. Jones was a nice addition, as was Molla, and added some much needed depth. The remainder of the supporting cast was solid.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were solid with nice background variety and good technical work. Action scenes were solid and fitting. Dialogue was enjoyable though a bit more depth would have added a lot to the film. Sound and soundtrack were fitting.

Criminal was entertaining and technically decent, but the film doesn't come close to being as entertaining as you would expect given the cast. The story doesn't add much to the genre, the plot and energy never mature, and what we end up with is a decent entry in the crime action genre.

With a fair amount of graphic violence and gore, this one should be fine for older teens and above.

Released: 2016
Reviewed: 11.16.16
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Crime Action, Crime Drama, Action & Adventure, Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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