When great actors meet a misguided script, the results can be hilarious. And so it proves with ‘Criminal’, a bonkers mash-up of ‘The Bourne Identity’ and ‘The Man with Two Brains’ which, despite a laughable plot and ridiculous dialogue, somehow managed to attract Kevin Costner to the lead role, with support from Ryan Reynolds, Tommy Lee Jones, new Wonder Woman Gal Gadot and even Gary Oldman (who really needs to have a word with his agent after this and ‘Child 44’).
When London-based CIA agent Reynolds is murdered by a Spanish anarchist (yep, this is one of those movies where lefties are secretly trying to destroy the world), the remnants of his consciousness are downloaded into the troubled brain of imprisoned psychopath Costner. But it’s not long before our Kev goes rogue, rampaging around Docklands on the trail of an emo hacker (Michael Pitt) and home-invading Reynolds’s grieving wife (Gadot).
To give ‘Criminal’ its due, none of this is ever boring: whenever you think it’s about to lapse into a dull Eurotrash shoot-’em-up there’s another wacky plot twist, Piers Morgan cameo or comedy ‘Mary Poppins’-ish bit of ‘British’ slang (‘You’re bang out of order, you are!’). The fact that it’s all played completely straight only makes it funnier.