ABC Film Challenge – Action – C – Criminal (2016)

Director: Ariel Vromen

Writer: Douglas Cook, David Weisberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Ryan Reynolds, Jordi Molla, Gal Gadot, Michael Pitt, Amaury Nolasco, Alice Eve

 

Plot: 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 that he will complete the operative’s mission.


Tagline –  Take me to the Dutchman.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Moving Action Thriller

 

Story: Criminal starts when CIA agent Bill Pope (Reynolds) is working on bringing The Dutchman (Pitt) to America in exchange for closing the wormhole on the dark web that he has created, the problem is Xavier Heimdahl (Molla) also wants the Dutchman and kills Bill before getting the answers.

Turning to Dr Franks (Jones) for an experimental memory transfer Quaker Wells (Oldman) the head of the CIA operation uses death-row inmate Jerico Stewart (Costner) to learn where the vital information is, but letting a killer lose becomes harder to control than believed.

 

Thoughts on Criminal

 

Characters – Jerico Stewart is the dangerous death-row inmate, we don’t learn what he has done, but anyone that crosses him usually ends up in a body bag. He is forced into receiving Bill’s memories in a hope that he can save a major release of secure information, he doesn’t want to work with the CIA and is happier to operate in his own means. Quaker Wells is running the CIA operation which goes wrong, he will go at any lengths to get the answers he needs to stop the information leak, company man who does go too far. Dr Franks has been working on transferring memories for 18 years, this is his first human attempt which shows how he wants to help with the new memories. Important to the story but lacking the impact he should have on the story. Bill Pope is the family man and CIA agent, it is his memories which hold the answers after he is killed. Xavier Heimdahl wants to bring an end to governments across the world, he will go public with his speeches while also having his darker side coming out when getting what he wants.

PerformancesKevin Coster is in the middle of his recovery/mid-life crisis roles in action movies, he knows how to make his performance work keeping everything entertaining throughout. Gary Oldman as a company man CIA agent, well this always works as he never needs o do anything challenging. Tommy Lee Jones likewise does what he needs to without bringing anything unique to the role. Reynolds is hard to judge because of the smaller part in the film. Jordi Molla does make a good villain showing the calmness needed for the character to feel calculated. Gal Gadot is solid in her supporting role without needing to do much.

StoryThe story gives us the idea that vital information is about to be leaked by a hacker if he doesn’t get a passport and immunity, but things go wrong when the agent with the connection is killed. The experimental idea of transferring memories is put in motion as the candidate doesn’t follow orders the way they had hoped and different agencies from around the globe want the information. This plays out like an action film, but in reality it should have been a tense thriller with the characters we have here. It is an easy to watch and enjoy even if the premise does seem wildly over the top for a simpler idea.

Action/Crime/Mystery/Sci-FiWhen we look at the themes being used action gives us the shoot out we have seen before with a couple of car chases, nothing overly memorable though. The crime world we are placed into shows how the CIA are trying to protect the world from a new threat in London, it seems weird the British intelligence agency are not involved in this. The mystery in this film doesn’t work too well as the only thing needing to be solved is where the package was left. The sci-fi side of the film does come from the idea of transferring the memories, it is only used here though.

SettingsThe film is set in London and the surrounding area, it does feel weird that an American operation happens in England though.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well when needed without being over used for the action scenes.


Scene of the Movie –
Ambulance chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does have a tonal problem with the action and thriller side of things.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid easy to watch action thriller that doesn’t test the audience too much, throws in a wild sci-fi idea and big-name actors hoping it will be a classic.

 

Overall: Easy to watch.

Rating

 

 

The Rock (1996)

rockDirector: Michael Bay

Writer: David Weisberg, Douglas Cook, Mark Rosner (Screenplay) David Weisberg, Douglas Cook (Story)

Starring: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, John Spencer, David Morse, William Forsythe, Michael Biehn, Vanessa Marcil, John C. McGinley, Tony Todd

 

Plot: A mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con must lead the counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Best

 

Story: The Rock starts as General Francis Hummel (Harris) and his men including Major Baxter (Morse) take a military base by storm to steal a deadly bio-weapon. We also get to see the effects of the weapon when one of the men gets trapped in the room with it. We also get meet Stanley Goodspeed (Cage) who works as a chemical weapons disarmer.

General Hummel takes Alcatraz prison as his new base of operations where he has his weapons ready for launch unless his demands are met, he wants $100 Million that he can pay to fallen soldier’s family’s the money they deserve. Hummel has kept everything non-violent and keeps everything professional with his negotiations. We see how the FBI Director Womack (Spencer) and the rest of the authority figures in America give us the basic idea of what will be the consequences if the gas goes off and why plan A, B or C can’t work.

This has established the idea that we need our chemical expert Stanley and ex-inmate John Patrick Mason (Connery) who has been locked away with the key thrown away. The plan is to learn his route how he escaped from Alcatraz and use it to enter and get the upper hand on the men controlling the prison.

The Rock gives us an action movie that keeps all of the action in and from America with the terrorist side of the story being American soldiers. The odd couple chemistry between Goodspeed and Mason shows that people will go to lengths stop the men. I liked how Hummel’s also comes off very determined but not willing to take people’s lives into his hands wanting a peaceful ending to everything. we do get the basic action sides of the story but that doesn’t mean this is a bad movie. This is a fully enjoyable action film with a story that makes you question how you feel about Hummel’s.

 

Actor Review

 

Sean Connery: John Patrick Mason is the former inmate of Alcatraz who has been locked up many prisons which he has a habit of escaping from. John gets bought in on this mission because he knows how to get into Alcatraz but he isn’t playing by all the rules. The only man he respects out of the FBI unit is Goodspeed as the two have to become the heroes. Sean gives us one of the best performances of his career in this role showing he still had the action side of his older age.mason

Nicolas Cage: Stanley Goodspeed is the chemical expert that is considered the best in his field, as an FBI agent he gets bought into the situation to secure the bio-weapons that are threatening San Francisco. He has to work with Mason putting aside their differences to save the day. Nicolas is brilliant in this showing how he would become an action star for years to come.goodspeed

Ed Harris: General Francis Hummel is the man who is leading the operation take Alcatraz as his base to get the money owed to the men who died under his watch in black ops mission. He keeps everything non-lethal and wants to use the right paths even if some of the men are more trigger happy. Hummel makes for one of the most interesting villains in action film history because his cause is a worthy, he wants to negotiate in a forceful way without actually having causalities. We never really hate this villain because of this and he even does the right thing during the times when he men have gone out of line. Ed gives a brilliant performance in one of the best villains in action film history.hummels

David Morse: Major Tom Baxter is Hummel’s second in command he isn’t afraid to do jobs that Hummel’s doesn’t want to do and as the story unfold we learn how far he is willing to go. David is great in this supporting role.

Support Cast: The Rock has a massive supporting cast all in either military roles or authority roles.

Director Review: Michael BayMichael gives us one of the greatest action movies ever made.

 

Action: The Rock has great action throughout being is the hand to hand combat or explosions or gun fights.

Adventure: The Rock puts Goodspeed and Mason on an adventure to save the city.

Thriller: The Rock keeps us on our toes from start to finish.

Settings: The Rock uses Alcatraz for the setting which adds a unique take to the action side of the story.
Special Effects
: The Rock uses great effects for the action throughout without being too over the top.

Suggestion: The Rock is one for all the action fans to watch over and over because it is one of the best. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Car Chase.

Worst Part: Not much.

Action Scene Of The Film: Car Chase

Favourite Quote: Mason ‘Your “best”! Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for Best Sound

Box Office: $134 Million

Budget: $70 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

Tagline: Alcatraz. Only one man has ever broken out. Now five million lives depend on two men breaking in.

 

Overall: One of the best action movies ever made which is just easy to watch throughout.

Ratingcard