Criminal 2016 ***

‘You can’t behave like that in a patisserie!’ shouts an outraged onlooker as Kevin Costner’s deranged serial killer Jericho notches up another heinous offence; whoever wrote Criminal has a sense of humour at least. There’s plenty of strange manglings of the English language to savour here; a kebab-shop owner claims that he’s keen to avoid a ‘kerfuffle’. Perhaps it’s wise that Ryan Reynolds ducks out early when his CIA agent is killed; his memories are implanted in Death Row inmate Jericho, and he’s sent to complete a mission with the fate of the world in the balance. High-powered stars like Gary Oldman and Tommy Lee Jones mingle on the sidelines hoping to keep a low profile, and Costner tries to imbue a ridiculous role with some dignity, but Criminal’s premise defeats all comers. Rather than take it seriously, it’s best to sit back and let the daft quality of the whole enterprise wash over you; Ariel Vromen’s thriller is consistently nuts from start to overblown finale.


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