Criminal (2016) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

CRIMINAL

Director: Ariel Vromen
Writers: Douglas Cook, David Weisberg
Stars: Kevin Costner, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot

Plot:  In a last-ditch effort to stop a diabolical plot, a dead CIA operative’s memories, secrets, and skills are implanted into a death-row inmate in hopes that he will complete the operative’s mission.

Running Time: 1 hour 53 minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Scores:  Critics 30%       Audience   47%

Why I watched it: The cast alone, that is a deep cast and now you add into the fact how hot Gal Gadot is it’s even better.

Random Thoughts: Two things hit me while I was watching this: 1. Did they need this big name cast for the movie they were doing and 2. this is like  Self/Less that Ryan Reynolds was in he just switched roles.

What I Liked: This is a slick looking film, and all the technol stuff is good, it’s shot well, the sound is good.  Yes I’m reaching there’s not a lot to like about this film but by the cover it’s a good looking film.  I will say out of all the name actors in this Kevin Costner is very good here and why he stands out is because he truly is the only thing making this movie watchable, he’s not only having fun but he seems to be the only one invested in the story and his character.  All the other character’s in Criminal are types but Costner fleshes out some things, he might be over acting at times but i’ll give him that, he’s funny and also makes the most from a truly badly written script.

What I Didn’t Like: This is a waste of some very good actors.  This is one of my pet peeves with bigger Hollywood movies they get big names to play small parts and small parts that aren’t written well but by putting a name in the role it will hide the fact that the role is under written.  There was no need for Tommy Lee Jones in this movie, if you’re a fan of his don’t bother he’s barely in it and really does nothing except be Tommy Lee Jones. Poor Gal Gadot is just playing the wife in peril role a bit of a step down from Wonder Women, she’s fine but this is just such a cliche.  Alice Eve and Michael Pitt must have lost bets cause I can’t figure their careers have fallen this badly, they are playing supporting roles and have not much to do, you might not even notice Eve.

Pitt plays his role up big time gives him way more ticks than the script had probably, he’s trying. I have to say this about Gary Oldman, he’s real bad in this, he screams most of his lines, you can tell he has nothing to play in the script and he resorts in bad over acting, he’s unlikable and he plays like nails on a chalkboard,  he plays his character with one speed, he’s a cliched character type to the max.  I will say this I love Gary Oldman but this is the worst performance I’ve seen him give.

Watching this film and seeing good actors struggle really hits home how important a script is, a plot outline is one thing, but the script and a director’s vision are the two most important things for making a film.  I do blames the director for this, Ariel Vromen, how do you get a bad performance from Gary Oldman?  This film just has no hook for the audience, it seems like we’re watching an idea, a first draft.

You might think I forgot to mention Ryan Reynolds, I will warn you he’s barely in it, so if you’re a fan and just watch this movie for him don’t bother go watch Deadpool again, he’s not bad but it’s a cameo, the lead is Kevin Costner, don’t let the trailers fool you.

Final Thoughts: Criminal is an bloated boring film.  I will add that it’s a tough watch at almost two hours.  It’s all flash and almost no subsistence.

Rating: 3/10

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