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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Cindy Prascik's Review of Criminal

Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee Cinemas to see my main man Gary Oldman in his new movie, Criminal.

Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.

In order to thwart a nefarious plot, an experimental procudure is used to transfer the mind of a murdered agent into a notorious criminal.

Dear Reader(s), I had genuinely high hopes for Criminal. It's been awhile (four years, to be exact) since Gary has had a critical and/or box office winner, and this one looked like it might break the chain of disappointments. Alas, it was not to be.

Right off the top, Criminal is saddled with one almost-insurmountable handicap, that is, Kevin Costner's acting abilities...or lack thereof. If he were a bit player, or in any supporting role, really, you might get around it, but not when he's the focal point of the whole picture. Sure, the lead character is meant to be a thug lacking social graces, but the way Costner grunts his way through the movie, he might as well be a gorilla...and that's probably not a very nice thing to say about the acting talent of gorillas.

The supporting cast is solid, in particular an under-used Ryan Reynolds, but it's just not enough. Gary's character does a lot of barking orders at people, a somewhat angrier and less honorable Jim Gordon. It's fine for what it is, but it hardly taxes his talent. (Though, for the record, he looks really, REALLY good!)

Criminal presents an interesting premise that fails in its execution. The writing is atrocious, with allegedly top-notch agents acting so stupidly you'll want to scream at the screen. There are a few laugh-out-loud bits prompted by Costner's character's inappropriate behavior. They're uncomfortable, but, curiously, still one of the more entertaining things about a movie that otherwise sleepwalks its way to one of the most insufferably hokey endings ever.

Criminal clocks in at 113 minutes and is rated R for "strong violence and language throughout."
In my book, Gary Oldman is reason enough to get out and see ANY movie, but, if you're looking for another reason to see Criminal, you won't find it.

Of a possible nine Weasleys, Criminal gets three.

Until next time...

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