Criminal, the new flick from Kevin Costner, could quite possibly suffer from delusions of grandeur.
It sets up a potential franchise as this hodgepodge of action clichés with a hint of sci-fi and Freaky Friday tossed in for good measure attempts to clear some cash before The Avengers 2.5 – also known as Captain America: Civil War – swoops in to do what Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice only dreamed of accomplishing.
Criminal, which opens Friday (April 15) may have a week of relevance – a shame given a stellar cast that includes Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldham, and Ryan Reynolds goes largely wasted. Do not forget Gal Gadot, whose name made it to the top of credits because of her rep as Wonder Woman.
There’s little wonder to this film, however. Costner plays Jericho, a convict who commits criminal acts, including murder, without remorse. So it makes perfect sense for him to be one of the one in 10 million folks who possesses the ability to have the memories from other near dead individuals implanted on their brain through an experimental process developed by Dr. Franks (Jones). Lucky, Jericho. The government needs to borrow his brain.
They have a CIA agent who is being kept alive via life support and they need information that he possesses related to a mega computer hack of U.S. military forces that could cause a global crisis.
After that agent’s superior (Oldham) forces the genius behind the technology, Dr. Franks (Jones) to perform the procedure which still hasn’t been tested on humans, Jericho is a new man. It succeeds better than anyone expects leaving Jericho to contend with terrorists, the agent’s still grieving family and new-found emotions.
Put it under the heading of “had potential, but it went wasted.”
If Jericho sounds like a mental version of Frankenstein’s monster, that description falls right in line with the film’s overall concept. Director Ariel Vroman’s primary misstep is mistaking that for an original story.
As for the acting, it’s serviceable, but it’s no fun seeing a cast with such great talent essentially go wasted in a film that never reaches the lofty heights it wants. That’s the crime here.
Director: Ariel Vroman
Cast: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldham, Ryan Reynolds, Tommy Lee Jones, Gal Gadot
Rated: R for strong violence and language throughout
Running time: 113 minutes
Check for theaters and showtimes at Atlas Cinemas, Cleveland Cinemas, Fandango.com and MovieTickets.com