Almost Total Recall
CIA agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds - Safe House) is tortured and killed whilst on his way to a secret location to meet a hacker who has gained access to a missile launch system. With the need to find the hacker absolutely top priority the CIA turn to Dr. Franks (Tommy Lee Jones - The Homesman), an experimental scientist who has been experimenting with transferring memories from one brain to another. Now with it becoming critical to gain access to Pope's brain they give Dr. Franks 48 hours to transfer his memories. The recipient of those memories is Jerico Stewart (Kevin Costner - 3 Days to Kill), an extremely violent prisoner on death row who has no regard for human life, other than his own. But now with Pope's memories implanted into his brain Jerico finds himself inheriting Pope's skill set and involved in a race against time to stop a sinister international conspiracy.
For a movie which isn't sci-fi it has to be said that "Criminal" has a sci-fi idea which reminded me a little of "Total Recall", as we have a man having the memories of another implanted in to his brain. But rather than being set in up some futuristic landscape this is set in the now and it has a style kind of in the same manner as the Bourne movies and also "Shooter" with plenty of snappy action and sense of intrigue over who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. The thing is that whilst there is this mystery the majority of the movie focuses upon Jerico dealing with these memory flashbacks whilst dealing with not only new abilities when it comes to fighting and surviving but having been a cold hearted killer finds himself now dealing with unusual emotions.
The thing about "Criminal" is that it feels like a movie which has everything but doesn't know what to do with it. Take the cast, we have Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Michael Pitt, and Alice Eve yet most of their characters are minor and forgettable. In fact the majority of "Criminal" is reliant on Kevin Costner playing Jerico as gruff but dealing with not only the pain of the surgery but also the flashbacks and the confusion of suddenly having emotions which are new to him. And Costner delivers a strong, entertaining performance especially during the action scenes but it isn't enough to elevate the movie in to all it can be.
What this all boils down to is that "Criminal" is entertaining as there is enough action and pace to keep you watching. But at the same time this feels like a missed opportunity to do something memorable with a lot of talent ending up wasted.