Kevin Costner Stars in ‘Criminal’

By Francine Brokaw

“Criminal” takes viewers on a psychological journey in this thriller with two stories interwoven and played out amazingly by Kevin Costner. Costner plays a man who has had his brain infused with the memories of another man. Does this sound confusing? It’s not. It’s quite interesting.

Ryan Reynolds is Bill Pope, a CIA agent in London who is masterminding the acquisition of a tech genius who goes by the name “The Dutchman.” This man has created a program with which he can take over all the United States military weapons and lock out their controls and overrides. Before he can finalize the deal Pope is killed. Unfortunately, he alone knows the location of The Dutchman.

The Cia Chief calls in a doctor who has been working on a way to copy the memories of one person and implant them in another. Dr. Franks (Tommy Lee Jones) has not tried this on humans, however this is a case he cannot refuse. If the CIA doesn’t get to The Dutchman before anyone else, the world will be in chaos and bombs will drop everywhere.

Enter Jericho (Kevin Costner), a convict with no soul. He has no understanding between right and wrong. He has no conscience. He’s just a violent man who looks out only for himself. He is chosen for this experiment because his brain has a defect, so it makes it easier to transfer Pope’s memories into his brain.

Once that is done, the CIA intends on learning the location of The Dutchman, but Jericho is not as cooperative as they had hoped. After escaping their clutches, Pope’s memories slowly begin to take hold and he begins to take on some of the personality of the dead agent. After meeting Pope’s wife Jill (Gal Gadot), things fall further into place, and she is convinced he is telling the truth. After all, he knows things only her dead husband knew.

This is the story of the spies tracking down a terrorist and the story of one man’s mind living on after his death. What surprises Dr. Franks more than the knowledge that Pope’s memories are alive within Jericho, is that his feelings and personality have also been infused within the convict. Jericho turns from a violent man into an understanding and caring one, thanks to the wonderful performance of Costner.

In a bonus feature, Costner discloses how he had trepidations about taking this role. He had never done anything like this before and originally he turned it down. How could he convincingly play a brutal man who turns into a hero?

For this 61-year-old actor, his list of credits goes way back. Many people are not aware he was in the hit film “The Big Chill” in 1983. That’s because all his scenes were left on the cutting room floor. He played Alex, the dead friend of the group who gathered together to mourn his passing. He has played a variety of roles from Elliot Ness in the 1987 film “The Untouchables,” to Ray Kinsella in the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams.” His credits include, among so many films, “Dances with Wolves,” “JFK,” “The Bodyguard,” “Rumor Has It,” and “McFarland, USA.” Costner is a favorite among young and older viewers.

Other bonus features on this combo pack include deleted scenes, and a look at how the production was brought to the screen, with behind-the-scenes clips and interviews with the cast and crew.

“Criminal” is a psychological thriller with an amazing cast that also includes Gary Oldman as the quintessential evil puppet-master. It’s available on DVD, in a Blu-ray Combo Pack, and also on 4K.

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