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Criminal

3/10

Stars: Kevin Costner, Gal Gadot, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Antje Traue, Ryan Reynolds, Alice Eve, Scott Adkins, Michael Pitt, Colin Salmon, Robert Davi, Jordi Mollà

Director: Ariel Vromen

'They messed with my brain,' growls Costner, at the beginning of this ragged 'thriller' movie. Not half as much, though, as this will mess with yours.

A clichéd 'B' movie with a string of 'A' list stars, its outworn premise casts a rugged Costner, in a role more suited to Jason Statham. as Jericho Stewart, an irredeemably violent criminal (think Hannibal Lecter without the brains) with no sense of right or wrong, thanks to 'frontal lobe syndorme' (he was thrown out of a speeding car as a child) who finds himself, thanks to a pioneering scientist (a bored-looking Jones) with all the memories of a dead US agent (Reynolds, killed off in the first reel, but at least giving a decent performance; 'Wonder Woman' Gadot is also believable as his widow).

The rest of the overheated plot, mainly set in London (though it was partly shot in Bulgaria) concerns a cybernerd (Pitt) holding nations to ransom with a wormhole that can control world missile systems, and the Euro criminal mastermind (all-purpose villain Mollà) out to gain control of everything.

A galumphing Costner gives only one of several performances that come on much too strong in the face of often unspeakable dialogue. Samples: 'He's a Russian operative. What's he doing on a fishing boat in Dagenham?' or 'Do not give him the flash drive; he will scorch the earth'.

Poorly directed, too, and unimaginatively shot. Classy London locations provide one of the few compensations.

David Quinlan

USA/UK/Bulgaria 2015. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Colour by Panalux.
112 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 12 Apr 2016