Movie Review: Criminal

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 2/5 stars

Bottom Line: The only thing criminal about this movie is the script.  Takes a good, if preposterous, premise and turns the preposterousness up to 11.

This movie is a lot like Ted Cruz.  I want to punch both in the face.  But while my reasons for wanting to punch Ted Cruz in the face don’t go much beyond “Look at that face!”, my reasons for wanting to punch “Criminal” in the face are well reasoned.

The movie starts out pretty well.  Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA agent who was tortured and killed by an unknown assailant and has information vital to an operation the CIA is trying to pull off.  They contact Dr. Franks (Tommy Lee Jones) who has been working with ways of transferring memories from one rat to another.  Dr. Franks chooses as the recipient of these memories Jericho Stewart (Kevin Costner), a sociopath whose brain damage at an early age makes him uniquely qualified for said memory transfer because…because.  The reason doesn’t matter.  It’s a pretty cool sci-fi-ish setup.

So now you have a sociopath of the variety with absolutely no filters and no ability to feel emotions with the memories of a CIA agent slowly leaking into his consciousness.  What do you think is going to happen?  Chaos of course.  Wild escapes.  Chases.  Plots.  Schemes.  Jericho falling in love with Bill Pope’s wife Jill (Gal Gadot).  The works.

It is with the latter, Jericho falling for Jill where all semblance of agency are lost.  Not for Jericho, but for Jill.  It totally makes sense for Jericho to become flooded with Bill’s memories of his wife and experience some of the love Bill felt for Jill.  The problem is Jill freakin’ reciprocates.  After Jericho breaks into her house, ties her up, menaces her daughter, and breaks into her house a second time.  All because Jericho can touch his nose just like Bill did to indicate that he loves Jill.  You can stretch credulity some with this setup and, say, have her help Jericho escape his pursuers, but reciprocating his love?  WTF, script writers?  This utter nonsense continues all the way to the closing credits.  Thus my desire to punch this movie in the face.

Besides the part that makes Jean-Paul want to smash, it’s a decent story.  It’s a shame that I couldn’t get Jean-Paul smash out of my head for almost the entire second half of the movie.  Cut all that BS out and you might have a pretty decent movie.  With it, ugh, go see something else.