Cast: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds, Alice Eve
Director: Ariel Vromen
Big. Face off. 13 going on 30. The mind/body swap is about the only thing in common this gory actioner has with the three flicks listed before this sentence. The first and third were comedies while Face Off starred Nicholas Cage and John Travolta in a high octane thriller.
“Criminal” alas and alack falls short, despite a star ensemble cast which gives its all. As scripted by Douglas Cook and David Weisberg, the plot demands suspension of disbelief: CIA agent Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is tortured and murdered as he delivers USD 10 million ransom money to some anarchists. Hoo boy! In the real world, the US Govt refuses to negotiate/deal with terrorists/extortionists.
Here, the reel CIA decides to implant Pope’s memories into the head of a psycho called Jerico Stewart (Kevin Costner, impressive) who absconds post surgery and hooks up with Pope’s family (Pope’s wife Jill is played by gorgeous Gal Gadot). Did I say hook? A meat hook sends an unfortunate to kingdom come. Others are summarily and sporadically despatched in brutal scenes as the CIA (or Jerico) tries to nab The Dutchman (Michael Pitt), who has hacked into their high security computer system.