Criminal – ★ ★ ★ ½ DVD Review
A CIA agent in London (Ryan Reynolds) is killed while trying to track down a hacker nicknamed “The Dutchman” who has gained control of the world’s missiles and plans to create havoc and initiate World War III. The only chance the CIA has to stop it all is in now dead, until they try an experimental procedure to transfer his memories into a dangerous death row convict named Jerico Stewart (Kevin Costner). Jerico wakes up with Agent Bill Pope’s memories, and is supposed to adapt and continue the dead man’s mission, but the memories are scrambled and Jerico erratic, which becomes a bigger problem when he returns to Pope’s home and scares his wife and young daughter. Will the treatment work? Is it possible to map the memories and personality from one person to another? Can Jerico be stabilized enough to complete the mission?
I enjoyed the film, it had a light touch of science fiction, and some pretty good action too. The cast was very impressive; Gary Oldman was the CIA director in charge of everything, Tommy Lee Jones was the doctor who performed the procedure and Gal Gadot was Bill Pope’s widowed wife. Ryan Reynolds played Bill Pope, and really wasn’t in the movie very long. Ironically, I remember reading about the movie Self/Less where an aging Ben Kingsley has his mind put in to the body of the younger Ryan Reynolds character. I haven’t seen that one, but it does sound kind of interesting. This time of course Kevin Costner takes on the mind of the Ryan Reynolds character, so kind of sort of the reverse of the Self/Less idea. I couldn’t help but compare Costner’s Jerico to his character in 3 Days to Kill. Both were skilled spies/agents (though Jerico’s skills weren’t really his own, but Bill Pope’s), and in both instances Costner’s character was “sick” or dying. Still, the storyline overall was fairly original, and fairly entertaining; the characters were well developed, as we saw Jerico go from virtually an emotionless animal to a person dealing with having feelings for the first time; and the action was good and consistent. The film didn’t really slow down or let up. Quite an enjoyable ride.
Bottom Line: I was going to say the usual “parts of the story may have been done before” line, but it struck me how we really do seem to be running out of stories to tell…