Dress Kevin Costner down as a psychopathic do-badder who’s spent most of his life in one prison or another, and he can still own the screen. In fact, when Costner growls while in chains as Jericho Stewart, it’s fairly impossible not to get the willies.
Smarten Ryan Reynolds up as a U.S. Agent in London working to save the world from a really big boom, and he can own every scene he’s in. In fact, it’s impossible not to wince when the bad guys get the best of him and send him to an early demise way too quickly.
Of course, so much about his man Bill Pope lives on throughout Criminal, the action-thriller written by Douglas Cook and David Weisberg and directed by Ariel Vromen. And there’s the rub. Despite the good turns by stars Costner and Reynolds as the two most players — guys who never actually share a scene but are linked so thoroughly — as well as Tommy Lee Jones as the doctor who came up with the unlikely operation who puts their heads together, Gary Oldman as the chief spy who needs the scheme to work and Gal Gadot as Pope’s wife who comes to appreciate the fish-out-of-water Jericho — too much about the tale is just too outlandish.
It’s easier to believe the bad guys could cook up the scheme to heist America’s online weapon control than it is to believe an operation could plant the memories and emotions of a dead man inside a living being to share like the snap of a finger. Or that a doctor smart enough to cook up said operation would pick a bad guy like Jericho to host said information. Or that the snarling criminal could take to Pope’s kid enough to sit calmly beside her on a piano bench.
Well, the mid-sized crowd at the Regal Cinemas’ big theater at Syracuse mall Shoppingtown for a Friday night showing seemed to be able follow the many twists and turns of the plot. But not quite buy it, right down to the sappy ending.
How far do you think science can go with preserving the memory of a dead person? What’s your favorite Kevin Costner movie, and why? What’s your favorite Ryan Reynolds movie, and why