HBOWatch Editors were not able to line-up a writer to review CRIMINAL, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to draw your attention to the action-packed R-rated playing on HBO. It is no wonder we didn’t get anyone as it debuts on New Year’s Eve. Specifically, that is Saturday, 12.31 at 8:00pm. It will then appear across the channels as well as on HBONow/Go. Below is HBO’s quick promo:
Now a bit of explanation may be in order. First of all, the title CRIMINAL doesn’t really fit this movie. Very simply a criminal, meaning an expendable person if all goes wrong, has the intel and memories of a deceased special agent downloaded into his brain in order to carry out the mission locked inside. The title puts the focus solely on the criminal himself while the plot device indicates it is more about the duality of two person’s in one mind. Petty squabble perhaps, but it gets me into talking about this Summit Entertainment picture.
The actors to carry off this story are a pretty recognizable and talented bunch. Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) plays the downed CIA agent Bill Pope; Kevin Costner (Hidden Figures) is the Death Row inmate Jericho Stewart with the downloaded knowledge and Michael Pitt (BOARDWALK EMPIRE) plays “The Dutchman” the villain Pope couldn’t take out. “The Dutchman” has hacked nuclear codes and is ready to activate them. Gary Oldman plays the CIA Chief who sees to the transfer of Pope’s vital memories and Tommy Lee Jones is the doctor who carries out the procedure. Gal Gadot plays Pope’s widow. Evidently, with big names some of the smaller roles must have big moments with big consequences.
The movie is written by the team of Douglas Cook and David Weisberg (Double Jeopardy & The Rock) and directed by Ariel Vromen (The Iceman). Is the sci-fi element hokey? Is the action red hot? Is Costner’s Jericho a shallow character or fleshed out? Is “The Dutchman” a dynamic villain? All that maybe answered in the official trailer below or by watching CRIMINAL on HBO. Here is the Rotten Tomatoes rating and that trailer.
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