An ex-C.I.A. operative is brought back in on a very personal mission and finds himself pitted against his former pupil in a deadly game involving high level C.I.A. officials and the Russian President-elect.
A thief with a unique code of professional ethics is double-crossed by his crew and left for dead. Assuming a new disguise and forming an unlikely alliance with a woman on the inside, he looks to hijack the score of the crew's latest heist.
Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is a CIA agent on a mission in London tracking down a shadowy hacker nicknamed "The Dutchman." When he gets mysteriously ambushed and killed, an experimental procedure is used to transfer his memories into dangerous convict Jericho Stewart (Kevin Costner). When he wakes up with the CIA agent's memories, his mission is to find The Dutchman and make the deal with him before the hacker launches ICBM's and starts World War III. But complications soon arise and the mission turns personal.
In the scene with the submarine, the sub is identified as USS Virginia SSN743. In fact, the USS Virginia is SSN 774. SSN 743 is the USS Louisiana. In addition a SSN submarine does not have vertical missile tube. That would be a SSBN or SSGN. See more »
They messed with my brain. Thought they knew what they'd get, but they were wrong. They don't know me. I do not know what happens next, but this I do know: you hurt me... I hurt you worse.
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Criminal has been slated in most reviews I've read, so I went into this film expecting very little from it. However, the film is actually considerably better than these reviews suggest and has some clever ideas running through it. It's all about the memories of Bill Pope, played by Ryan Reynolds, being transferred into Jericho Stewart, played by Kevin Costner. Both actors do well with what they are given, and Costner is particularly impressive when he has to deal with his own thoughts and Pope's as well. This memory transplant is done so a task can be completed, and you'll understand why if you watch the film. The start of the film is very intense and really pulls in your interest, with a selection of plots being introduced and I felt they all connected quite nicely at the end. The script is a bit lacklustre and uses swearing for effect rather than proper character development, although this isn't totally lacking, as Stewart tries to connect with Pope's family, which develops the story and characters quite nicely.
The action sequences provide nothing new or inventive to the genre, but they are well done and they always feel like a payoff for decent storytelling. The primary issue I had with Criminal is the middle section, which becomes very lacklustre and slow, and to be honest is a bit boring. I know most films slow down at some stage, but this one lost my interest a bit, which is never a good sign. We get to see a lot of Gel Gadot here, and she plays a good part and acts well alongside Costner. However the film picks up again with a pretty good final third, although again, nothing new is shown and the action is slightly generic. The film ends well, and the clever principles of this film are not lost through the seen it all before action scenes.
So overall, Criminal is film with clever ideas but has generic action sequences which does not merit these ideas, despite the action being entertaining. The acting is good, but the script is lacklustre and the middle section is slow. Criminal is worth a watch, but it won't win any awards despite it being a decent crack at the action film genre.
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