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KEVIN COSTNER & RYAN REYNOLDS IN CRIMINAL

Costner resembling an aged Travis Bickle RELEASE YEAR: 2016
Lately, within private circles and treadmill conversations, Cult Film Freak has been accused of writing posts that are long. Not too long, mind you, just... long.

Well that doesn't concern reviews but "articles" about old classic films since it's downright ludicrous to, at this point where any "old school" motion picture has their own dedicated following with books and websites and just about everything else, making just another review about them, just another review: But we'll keep this one, like most of the new release write-ups, short and to the point even though the movie itself doesn't seem to have a point, followable plot, or purpose. Just a few otherwise talented old actors and one young A-list star who recently got his mojo back as the sarcastic superhero DEADPOOL (while ironically, MAN OF STEEL didn't hurt a fledgling Costner). And where Ryan Reynolds fits within the Kevin Costner vehicle is as mysterious as Kevin's own role as a really bad dude, sounding a cross between Kurt Russell's ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK anti-hero Snake Plissken and the man Snake's based on, Clint Eastwood. And yet, by the plot summary alone it's clear that Ryan's an FBI agent whose memories are placed into Costner's CRIMINAL mind, and from this point he and the audience slowly learn that... prepare for a shock coming from Hollywood... the CIA is as crooked as a barrel of venomous rattlers: Seriously, at what point does a Revelation become a timeworn cliché?

Ryan Reynolds with a really big gun
Costner does a decent job as a man with no soul and a penchant for being a thoroughly flawed human being, and, speaking of Eastwood, one of Kevin's best roles was under the Spaghetti Western icon's direction in the otherwise passable thriller, A PERFECT WORLD, one of those "performances trumping the film" films that stands out for Costner and Costner alone, a once energetic, handsome leading man known mostly for heroic roles. And yet, with his aged wrinkles in the right place and desperate, narrowed eyes, he seems to have grown into a somewhat believable heavy and/or edgy mentor and, with a tattered, world-weary countenance, CRIMINAL almost takes flight. But somewhere along the way, despite the likes of Gary Oldman and Tommy Lee Jones in ambiguous co-starring roles, nothing really happens to move along a story that, if it weren't for that intriguing IMDB description of "In a last-ditch effort to stop a diabolical plot, a dead CIA operative's memories, secrets, and skills are implanted into a death-row inmate in hopes the he will complete the mission," there simply wouldn't be any source to make clear sense of what's going on, at any time. And so, if the question is, "Well was it a good movie?" A simple answer would be, "What movie?"

RATING: *1/2
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