Criminal [Blu-ray] [2 Discs]



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Sociopathic death-row inmate Jerico Stewart (Kevin Costner) is implanted with the memories of a deceased CIA agent (Ryan Reynolds) in a desperate attempt to thwart a deadly plot involving a Dutch hacker (Michael Pitt). At the same time, Jerico reconnects with his own humanity as he bonds with the late agent's family. Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, and Gal Gadot co-star in this espionage thriller directed by Ariel Vromen (The Iceman). ~ Jack Rodgers, Rovi


Review Text "You hurt me, I hurt you worse," says Jerico Stewart (Kevin Costner), a violent, brain-damaged sociopath incapable of feeling empathy or much of anything else, as director Ariel Vromen's loud and loony action thriller Criminal opens. And Jerico, a death-row inmate at a West Virginia prison, proves to be -- if nothing else -- a man of his word.Against his will, he is soon whisked away to London, where the CIA forces him to undergo an emergency, experimental operation in which a dead agent's memories are transplanted into his amoral noggin. The deceased operative, Bill Pope (a criminally underused Ryan Reynolds), was attempting to deliver a satchel full of money to the "Dutchman" (Michael Pitt), a sweaty hacker with the power to launch U.S. nuclear weapons, when he was captured and tortured to death by an enraged anarchist (Jordi Mollà) bent on overthrowing world governments and obtaining the launch codes for himself. If the Dutchman doesn't get his cash within 48 hours, he threatens to sell the intel for the nukes. Enter Jerico, who is deemed by neurosurgeon Dr. Franks (Tommy Lee Jones at his most haggard) to be the perfect person to experience this mind-altering operation, since he has an undeveloped frontal lobe stemming from a childhood trauma. It's an extremely rare disorder, or so we are told (you just have to go with it and check your own brain at the door). When the surgery is complete, Quaker Wells (Gary Oldman), Pope's frantic boss, goes ballistic when Jerico can't immediately spit out the Dutchman's location, and orders a couple of underlings to execute him. It isn't giving away much to say that he escapes and begins a bloody rampage through the streets of London, where he savagely pummels or kills anyone who gets in his way. Fortunately, Pope's memories of the case, and perhaps more importantly, snippets of the late agent's time with his wife Jill (Gal Gadot) and daughter Emma (Lara Decaro), begin to take over his mind and slowly transform Jerico into a decent, if still hell-bent, human being. But putting a damper on things is the fact that the positive effects won't last: Jericho will return to his old self within a couple of days.Criminal's high-concept premise is actually a convoluted mixture of the Bourne movies, Charly, and Frankenstein. However, it lacks Bourne's frenetic energy and nuanced characters, and it settles for a sickly sweet conclusion rather than Charly's heart-piercing denouement. But it mostly succeeds as a modern-day monster/spy story, largely due to Costner's frighteningly good performance. Even as his malevolent Jerico beats guys senseless, you feel for him and want him to succeed, not only in the mission suddenly thrust upon him, but in becoming the well-rounded, emotionally rich person he was robbed of being. Equally compelling is Gadot, the big screen's first Wonder Woman. She takes what could have been a routine damsel-in-distress role and infuses it with believability and tough tenderness. Her latter scenes with Jerico, who now knows Jill as well as her late husband did, are easily the film's most moving, and they lift the whole silly enterprise a couple of notches higher than it otherwise deserves. As for Oldman, the less said about his wrongheaded scenery chewing the better -- although it should be noted that the film's character-deficient script, written by The Rock co-scribes Douglas Cook and David Weisberg, doesn't do him or any of the other supporting actors any favors.On the whole, Criminal is a perfectly enjoyable throwaway thriller for undemanding moviegoers looking to kill a Friday or Saturday night at their local cinema. But memories of this actioner will likely dissipate quicker than Jerico's jagged, scrapbook recollections. ~ Tim Holland, Rovi

Product Details

Release Date
MPAA Rating
R -- Restricted
1 hour, 53 minutes
  • DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Dolby Digital w/ sub-woofer channel
  • Blu-ray region A (North America, Central America, South America, Japan, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia)
  • English
  • Spanish
Video Features
  • Deleted Scenes
  • "Criminal Intent" Featurette
  • Director's Notes Featurette
  • Madonik's "Drift and Fall Again" Music Video
Number of Discs

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