Sure to be in the running for most ridiculous film of the year is this disastrous memory-transplant action thriller. The infuriatingly po-faced plot focuses on Jericho Stewart (Kevin Costner), a sociopathic death-row inmate who has the memories of murdered CIA agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) transposed into his brain.
This is in order for the agency to track down a hacker named “The Dutchman” (Michael Pitt) who might be the key to stop a major terrorist attack. Jericho then goes on the run, while dealing with his old self conflicting with the new memories and feelings, including being drawn to the dead operative’s grieving wife (Wonder Woman Herself, Gal Gadot) and daughter.
You’d have to be a genius to work out what exactly happens from there, as the plot is as convoluted as it is utterly ludicrous, tying itself up in needless knots, while delivering some horrendously clunky dialogue and badly put together action sequences. And it sadly boasts none of the tension or intriguing moral complexities of director Ariel Vromen’s previous crime thriller, The Iceman.
The cast ranges from the hilariously over-the-top Oldman, who shouts just about every line he’s given as CIA boss Quaker Wells (yes, that’s really his name), to the patently uninterested Tommy Lee Jones, as the transplant doctor.
Then, of course, there’s Costner in the lead role, grumbling and snarling his way from location to location, excessively beating up random baddies and, in one case, stealing someone’s kebab before hijacking a van and bopping along to trance music (seriously).
There might have been an opportunity here to take a purposefully wink-wink approach but the worst thing is that the straighter Criminal plays things, the funnier it becomes.