Late to the Game: Criminal

Yeah, we're a week behind on this one. So, what?

It's back to the tank with you, fish man. 
The thing that is truly “criminal” about this movie is that not enough people went to see it upon its initial release.

This is a thrilling action drama. It combines the elements of a James Bond espionage film with the criminal element of something like Snatch, creating a bloody good Brit grit film made by a bunch of Americans. Co-writers Douglas Cook and David Weisberg had previously written the screenplay for The Rock. Director Ariel Vromen dealt with a dark contract killer in the crime thriller The Iceman.  The combination of the three have brought to the screen a violent, intense, and also heartfelt story about a dead C.I.A agent’s memories that are  implanted into a sadistic prisoner.

The cast is incredible and features a group of well known actors that include Kevin Costner, Ryan Reynolds, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Jordi Molla, Gal Gadot, and Michael Pitt. Costner, Jones, and Oldman had earlier appeared together in JFK. This isn’t Deadpool so don’t expect the merc with the mouth. Reynolds' time in this is limited, yet he provides an admirable performance. This one is all about Costner and his abilities as an actor. Costner has been on somewhat of a resurgence lately, but this has to be his darkest character next to Butch Haynes in A Perfect World. Like a song that played in the movie, he is the last cowboy. He is not a good guy; he is evil, diabolical, and enjoys the violence. The character is funny at times because of his lack of restraint and the dialogue that he uses. There is an evolution that happens as he takes on the persona of this dead man. He changes and becomes likeable, an unforeseen hero.

Yes, we've captured the mutant
fish human thing.
We're making fish sticks for dinner.
Let's see how he likes that.
It was also nice to see low budget martial arts star Scott Adkins get a minor role in a larger scale motion picture. While he doesn’t get to display his physical abilities, hopefully this will lead to additional roles in bigger pictures. The direction is well done and production wise this is outstanding. With a budget of around 31 million, they provide grand scenes in London and a large amount of action. There is also an excellent gun fight scene on a bridge that I felt was pretty inventive.

While not on the same scale as the latest Bond picture Spectre, I think this one is actually better overall. It is a shame that this debuted the same weekend as The Jungle Book, because given the proper chance this could and should have been number one at the box office.

Bottom line, if you like action thrillers or Kevin Costner then you should see this movie. 

To not share this review would be criminal. 
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-Raul Vantassle