“Criminal” Review

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Criminal is directed by Ariel Vromen and stars Kevin Costner, Gal Gadot, Gary Oldman, and Tommy Lee Jones. The movie is about a, well, criminal, who is taken in by the CIA in order to put the mind of a dead CIA member, played by Ryan Reynolds, into him. They do this in order to find where a certain man they are looking for is hiding.

This movie has a great cast and a very intriguing premise, so I was definitely interested to see how they would use it. I like the premise and some of the ideas that came from it in this movie, specifically the moments where Kevin Costner has to fight his old mind and his new one. I thought those scenes were handled very well, and they use this premise the most effectively.

I think Costner overall does good work here, nothing spectacular, he did have some shaky moments, but in general he was believable and a bright spot for the film.

Gal Gadot continues to do good work in average to below average movies, as she is also good here. Besides that, this movie is incredibly disappointing.

From the start, this film is just not as interesting as it wants to be. The movie tries to start off right in the action, but it all just feels so uninteresting, like I’ve seen this sequence hundreds of times before.

The sad part is, besides those few moments of inner conflict from Costner, nothing in this movie feels new.  The government characters, the bad guys, the action sequence and the down moments all play out like the most generic action movie possible, and almost nothing makes this film all that memorable.

Gary Oldman, one of the better actors out there, is pretty much awful in this movie, completely phoning in his performance. His character never acts how a person would, given the situation, and, usually, Oldman’s character just yells for the purpose of yelling, and it ends up being very annoying.

Along with being so boring and uninspiring, the plot is a mess. Story elements come up that make little sense when thinking back, especially a few scenes towards the end, as this is a movie that really gets worse the more you think about it.

The worst thing this movie has to offer has to be this weird villain they attempt to shoehorn into the plot. If this script didn’t have this villainous group in it whatsoever and decided to focus more on what is happening to Costner, the movie would be much more focused, and probably much better overall. Instead, these completely unnecessary bad guys who can basically be called “Generic Latino Bad Guy” and “Generic Crazy Female Assistant to the Bad Guy” just get in the way of the story without adding anything to it, and because of this, I found myself bored and confused, which is not a good combination for any movie.

Overall, Criminal wastes a talented cast and some solid performances on an inexcusably generic script and constant issues with consistency and its characters. Costner and Gadot are good, but Oldman certainly isn’t, and neither is much at all in this movie. Look, I’m not going to waste any more of your time with this, Criminal stinks, and what’s really criminal is how dull and pointless a movie with this unique of a premise is.

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What did you think of Criminal? Comment below with what you think.


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