4-20-2016 MOVIE REVIEW: CRIMINAL (2016)
Reading a brief 3 to 4 sentence synopsis will tell you everything you need to know about 2016’s “Criminal” which is nothing more than a glorified combo of Michael Bay’s 1996 film “The Rock” and 1990’s Schwarzenegger blockbuster “Total Recall” where a criminal is offered freedom in exchange for agreeing to do something no one else will. Screenwriters’ Douglas Cook and David Weisberg who wrote “The Rock” also wrote “Criminal” and talk about a total lack of creativity; “Criminal” in many ways is Xeroxed copy of their 1996 summer blockbuster (of which I hated). The two might as well have re-released their earlier film instead of wasting a thirty-one and a half million dollar budget. This premise of freedom-exchange has been reused dozens of times over the last two decades and so too has the idea of memory swap and planting it into another human being. Ryan Reynolds is briefly in the beginning of this picture as CIA agent Bill Pope, who, while in pursuit of the most wanted cyber terrorist in the world is ambushed by a group of Spanish radicals with their own agenda. Enter Kevin Costner as Jericho Stewart, a demented, fifty-year-old, savage with the IQ of a small child, who’s spent his entire life behind bars. With Detective Quaker Wells, played by Gary Oldman, still in hot pursuit of “The Dutchman” and now down one less CIA agent with no new leads, he calls in Dr. Franks, Jericho and his new memory exchange procedure in order to save all of man-kind.
Though watchable, thankfully “Criminal” doesn’t extend beyond the two hour mark, as it’s painfully boring to watch and piggy backs off the 1990’s storylines that either sucked to begin with or are well past their prime. Not a good reunion for Costner, Jones and Oldman.
I give “Criminal” (2016) 2 out of 4 stars.