Sunday, April 17, 2016

Movie Review #410: "Criminal" (2016)

Director: Ariel Vromen
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 53 minutes
Image Source
After C.I.A. agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is killed trying to bring a hacker known as the Dutchman (Michael Pitt), who has taken control of the US nuclear missile launch system, back to the states. His memories are implanted in to the head of  psychopathic criminal Jericho Stewart (Kevin Costner) so the C.I.A. can discover the Dutchman's location, something only Bill knew. However Jericho is harder to control than expected. Meanwhile anarchist/terrorist Xavier Heimdahl (Jordi MollĂ ) also searches for the Dutchman so he can take control of the U.S. missile system for himself.

So, Wonder Woman is married to Deadpool, who becomes Clark Kent's dad and whose doctor is Two-Face, all while being watched by Commissioner Gordon??????? WAT???????????

"Criminal" is a sci-fi action thriller from director Ariel Vromen. It has an all-star cast including the likes of Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds. If you are seeing this movie for Ryan Reynolds, however, you: A) may be disappointed as he only has about 5 minutes of screen time, and B) don't know how to decipher a trailer very well. With a cast such as this, we were really hoping for a well-rounded, solidly executed film. Unfortunately, this is not the case. We hate to give a movie with a cast like this a bad rating, but we call 'em like we see 'em, and "Criminal" just plain sucks.

This is a spy/crime thriller with a little bit of a sci-fi twist. It's about transferring the memories of one person, in this case Reynold's character Billy Pope, into another person, Kevin Costner's Jericho, a psychopathic criminal with a frontal lobe defect that makes him a prime candidate for this procedure. Oddly enough, the whole mind transfer concept is slightly similar to another film starring Ryan Reynolds from last year called "Self/less," which didn't do very well and wasn't very well received either. This overall concept, however, is really where the similarities end. The plot is flat out ridiculous, and we're not even talking about the sci-fi mind transfer aspect. Being a modern thriller, "Criminal" involves hackers and terrorists and hacker terrorists, Hollywood's latest fixation. The main villain, Xavier Heimdahl, played by Jordi Molla, is the aforementioned hacker/terrorist and an anarchist who wants to destroy all the governments of the world. Lucky for him, another hacker known as The Dutchman, played by Michael Pitt with an on again/off again Dutch accent, has created a program that can hack into U.S. missile defense system and launch any nuclear missile at any time. Because, you know, apparently all of our thousands of nuclear missiles are controlled remotely over the internet. ~!It's real life~! The only person who knew where the Dutchman is was Bill Pope, and now, Jericho is remembering Pope's memories as they are pieced together with his own thoughts to create a jumbled mix of flashbacks and present time findings.

The plot of this film winds up being very stupid and feels like something we've seen before in the grand scheme of the spy/thriller/crime genre once you get over the initial memory transfer bit. The narrative is an all over the place mess. It's content on throwing out words like "wormhole" and "deep web" in an effort to take itself more seriously, even though what's going on on screen is cheesy as hell. Scenes jump in an unedited fashion to create a blob of generic action. The villain is a silly character who wants to seemingly blow up with world, but won't just shoot someone he's kidnapped and threatened to shoot, which is an all too common movie cliche. Gal Gadot's character Jill Pope cries a lot. Gary Oldman's character Quaker (what?) Wells screams the entire movie. Ryan Reynolds is criminally underutilized. Tommy Lee Jones is looking hard these days and doesn't get enough good films to act in every year. Aside of the occasional violent outburst and slew of f-bombs from Jericho, the movie starts to get dull a mere 15 minutes after it starts.

If you want to watch a forgettable film with a slew of big stars who put on unmemorable performances, "Criminal" is the movie for you. We say skip it as it's not worth your time or money for 2 hours of awkward, dopey, forced mediocrity.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: ~6.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ~25%
Do we recommend this movie: No.
One year ago, we were watching: "Child 44"

No comments:

Post a Comment