Criminal is not a good movie by any means. It is still entertaining enough to watch when there’s nothing better to watch.
Criminal follows Jericho Stewart (because bad guys can’t have normal names like Bob) who gets memories implanted in his head from a dead CIA agent, Bill Pope (because good guys can have boring names like Bill). There is a bland unmemorable European accented villain hell-bent on world destruction for reasons unknown. And the ending of the film is preposterous. Yup, this is not the best writing. But, the movie has a few things going for it that make it somewhat palatable.
Kevin Costner is absolutely fantastic as the grumbly, crazed and murderous criminal that receives the memory transplant. There is no way this movie would be worth watching if it were not for Costner. He should play crazy bad ass characters more often.
Gal Gadot and Tommy Lee Jones are both underused in the film. For what they had, they were great. Tommy Lee Jones’s world weary and caring doctor was a good character that I wish had more screen time. There was so much more that the doctor could have done to help Jericho. Gadot does what she can with the worried wife. There is also Alice Eve who turns in what is basically a cameo, which was disappointing.
The one character that I totally did not buy was Gary Oldman’s CIA supervisor (Quaker Wells, what’s with that name?). How his character got to the level he was based on his behavior in the film is questionable. The character is impulsive and very short-sighted. I understand there was this 48-hour deadline, but a lot of the problems that happen throughout the film can be attributed to Well’s impulsiveness.
The film is gorgeous and well-shot. But, there are also some serious plotholes.
Worth watching? Probably not unless there is nothing else to watch.