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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Mystery > Action > Spy > Crime > Science Fiction > Criminal (2016/Summit/Lionsgate 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray + Blu-ray w/DVD versions sold separately)

Criminal (2016/Summit/Lionsgate 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray + Blu-ray w/DVD versions sold separately)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B+ 1080p Blu-ray Picture: B DVD Picture: B- Sound: B+/B- Extras: C Film: C

Ariel Vromen's 2016 action/thriller Criminal is a mixture of other 'bizarre science' action films where personalities are swapped into foreign bodies and forced to deal with the past memories of the new body. (I describe this film as Face/Off, Source Code, Robocop, with a dash of Inception). Featuring a decent cast in Kevin Costner, Gal Gadot, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Alice Eve and Ryan Reynolds (who is mysteriously not listed on the cover art), the film can't escape its over reliance on flashbacks and memories that drag the story down where basically midway through the film nothing really happens except the main character is in hiding and remembering stuff.

In a valiant effort to stop a diabolical plot, a dead CIA operative (Reynolds) is killed getting his memories, secrets, and skills implanted into a death-row inmate/serial killer (Costner) - an 18-year experiment by a brilliant Scientist (Jones). The Inmate is chosen for the experiment due to his unique frontal lobe condition that makes it so that his brain can be manipulated. A group of Government officials, led by Gary Oldman, attempt to push that the Operative's mission to locate a terrorist in hiding. Soon, the memories of the past come back and haunt the Inmate - who ends up connecting up with the dead Operative's wife (Gadot) and daughter who haunt his memories and of course ends up getting them mixed in bad business.

The film starts out fun and then quickly loses steam, making the last forty minute minutes or so predictable and boring. I think with a stronger edit, they could have cut a lot of the flashbacks and memories back this film and it would have been better. By the end, I was so tired of seeing Gal Gadot frolicking on a beach in a flashback I could scream, and I like her!

There are plenty of gunfights and explosions to keep some interested but ultimately this is nowhere near what it should be with this cast. Great actors are restrained here, especially Oldman who is looks exactly the same as he did for Commissioner Gordon in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy... he even yells and acts the same way. What a waste of such a talented actor. Costner does what he can with the role and poor Tommy Lee Jones just looks miserable the whole time.

The 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced 2.35 X 1 Ultra High Definition image on the 4K Blu-ray is easily the best presentation on the two sets with pretty good detail, even in dark shots, but improvements are often subtle when its not a great shot. Most of this HD-shot production was done with an Arri Alexa XT (2.8 K) with the 6K RED Epic Dragon for aerial shots, but mastered at 2K, so some details are lost, but this is what the release looks like at its best.

The 4K Blu-ray and regular Blu-ray both features an English 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless track that sounds fantastic on Blu-ray disc and has no shortage of great sonic detail, though 7.1 and/or 11.1 mixes might have been better.

In both sets, the regular Blu-ray is presented in 1080p digital High Definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and, though not up to the range of the 4K release. Also included on the Blu-ray only-version is the standard definition DVD with an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track that looks and sounds fine for the dated format. Both sets offer UltraViolet copy in an even more compressed format.

Extras include...

Deleted Scenes

''Criminal Intent'' featurette

Director's Notes featurette

Madsonik's ''Drift and Fall Again'' Music Video

All in all, Criminal has an interesting concept but doesn't have a strong enough screenplay to make it particularly memorable. A one time watch.

- James Lockhart & Nicholas Sheffo



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