The Right Man in the Wrong Body A Criminal (Movie Review)

Criminal (2016)
Millennium Films

Directed by: Ariel Vromen
Written by: Douglas Cook, David Weisberg
Starring: Kevin Costner, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Alice Eve, Gary Oldman

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The Good:
Kevin Costner’s character finds an interesting way to be both uncaring and caring at the same time. The somewhat unique story line allows his character to deal with two minds at the same time, so to speak. It was far more interesting watching his normal self as the ruthless “Jericho Stewart”. A few of the action and chase scenes were entertaining to watch. Ryan Reynold’s character seemed a bit more interesting despite his appearance in the film being short-lived. Gal Gadot provided a much better glimpse of what we can maybe expect, acting-wise, from her future solo movie roles (i.e. Wonder Woman).

The Bad:
Where do we begin?? Kevin Costner just isn’t believable as an action star. The story makes sense for him to be both cold-blooded and have a heart at the same time, but there just wasn’t enough of a separation. This came off to be like an actor just wanting to show off his range in an acting school or something. His character’s interactions with Gal Gadot were probably the biggest stretch for me. It goes from one very intense extreme (which was believable) to an utterly flimsy one as the movie progressed.

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The most innovative thing about the story was the memory transplant operation. Unfortunately we see that in the trailer, and there’s really nothing more about it throughout the film. (If you like that mind swapping story angle, you’d probably be more interested in the movie Self/Less which took it further). While this film had a great cast on paper, it didn’t really translate very much to the big screen. Each actor seemed to do well on their own but not enough to raise the bar for the movie as a whole.

The Reason:
Unfortunately this film feels kind of stuck in time. You would think that it was a generic action movie from 2002 except someone dusted it off and placed 10 minutes of new aged sci-fi to give it a boost. I completely understand how this movie will appeal to those who liked older action films. However, Criminal seems like a straight to dvd rental that you can watch on a Saturday night when you have nothing else to do. Given the fact that it does have some good actors, it wouldn’t be a complete waste of time though. I think if you REALLY, REALLY liked the trailer, then watch this as a matinee or discounted rate at your local theater. Otherwise you can watch this on DVD or for free in the comfort of your own home. For a movie about memories, this was pretty forgettable.

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