Kevin Costner Is a… – Criminal (2016)

Cable TV special.  So this is about a recently deceased CIA operative (Ryan Reynolds).  There is enough residual brain activity where they can transfer his invaluable memories to a new receptacle.  Trouble is, the most qualified candidate is an emotionless death row inmate (Kevin Costner).  Can the government work with him to help stop a deadly terrorist plot?  This movie pulls off the difficult feat of being crazy stupid, stupid crazy and boring at the same time.  I heard beforehand just how generic this is, but I still rolled the dice and kept an open mind.  There’s that sci-fi element that appealed to me on a base level… but it was also one that we JUST saw in Self/less, which coincidentally enough, also stars Ryan Reynolds.

1You would think that somebody in production or marketing would have caught that.  You’d be surprised.

These are talented people, and I like Reynolds, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman and even Kevin Costner for the most part.  I enjoy their acting abilities… in other movies.  Criminal is just so uninteresting, and even the most exciting part of the movie, the opening scene, it’s really just a lot of walking around when you really break it down.  These are just not well-rounded characters, and not a single person is written to have much of any personality.  Costner probably has the most character development, but even then, he’s not likable, and he only starts to turn it around not because of any pathos or desire from redemption, but because this other man’s memory starts to interfere with his ability to process life.  The dialogue never sparkles, and by the time you hit the midpoint, I promise that you’ll already be checked out.

2If you’re not fully asleep altogether.

This is shot decently enough, but that is really me grasping for something nice to say about it.  You never care about this man, and it just plays out in a way that is both trite and predictable.  There are scenes that I could describe that just sound bonkers, like this man going to a coffee shop, placing an order in French, mistakenly thinking that he is speaking in Spanish and beating up a hipster when he gets corrected… and it’s still boring.  This is one uninteresting movie that you could potentially catch your dad watching… before he changes the channel 15 minutes later for something better.

Criminal (2016) **

– Critic for Hire


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