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Film / Criminal

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“You hurt me, I hurt you worse” - Jericho

Criminal is a 2016 Science Fiction Action Thriller film directed by Ariel Vromen, and written by Douglas Cook and David Weisberg. It stars Kevin Costner, Gal Gadot, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Ryan Reynolds, Alice Eve, Antje Traue and Jordi Mollà.

Jericho Stewart (Costner) is an imprisoned criminal whose childhood brain trauma left him with an inability to feel emotions or control his impulses. However, he's taken from custody when London-based CIA agent Bill Pope (Reynolds) is killed in action, as the CIA, led by Quaker Wells (Oldman) needs to find a hacker known as the “Dutchman” who created a wormhole program that would gain access to the worlds nuclear arsenal that he hid, pre-mortem. Jericho is to be the subject of a CIA experiment to graft Pope's brainwaves onto his own. Only his new memories can save the world from Spanish anarchist Xavier Heimdahl (Mollà), who plans to bring destruction to the world.


This film contains examples of:

  • Adult Fear: A stranger coming in your bedroom, restraining you, and then going into your daughter's room, with of course the fear that he'll rape you both. Luckily it turns out he just wants money.
  • AntiHero: Jericho is a violent Criminal who doesn’t have an allegiance to either the CIA or Xavier and will retaliate if either attacks him first, however after getting Bill Pope’s memories and bonding with Jill and Emma he grows to care for them and goes after Xavier and his men when they attack him, abduct them and threaten the world.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: Xavier is shown to be a ruthless anarchist who wants to gain control of the United States nuclear Arsenal to cause mass destruction. Quaker and the CIA who are trying to get back control of the nukes are shown to be almost no better than Xavier, as they are willing to experiment on people and allow innocent civilians to die in order to get what they want.
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  • Bomb Throwing Anarchist: Xavier Heimdahl, who's trying to obtain the Wormhole program, which will give him control of the US's nuclear arsenal to destroy every government in the world.
  • Electric Torture: What Xavier uses on Bill.
  • Britain is Only London: Although most of the main characters are American the film is set in London.
  • Happily Married: Bill and Jill.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Jericho makes his complete turn when he's told Jill and Emma's lives aren't important. His response?
    Jericho: They're important to me.
  • Hero Antagonist: Quaker Wells goal is to find the Dutchman’s location before Xavier in order to stop him from getting control of the nuclear codes, but to accomplish that he approves of experimenting on a prisoner and later he deems that Jill and Emma his own agent’s widow and daughter are expendable when they are being held hostage by Xavier as bait for Jericho.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Bill/Jericho has The Dutchman fix the Wormhole program so that any missile Xavier fired would turn back and target him instead.
  • I Have Your Wife: Xavier forces Bill/Jericho to give him the Wormhole program by holding Jill and Emma hostage.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Bill gets tortured with a cattle prod by Xavier, then killed after he refused to give up The Dutchman.
  • Multi-Ethnic Name: "Xavier" could be believably Spanish (it is the Galician form of the Castillian name Javier), but "Heimdahl" is not, instead sounding vaguely Nordic.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Jericho does this first to the guys whose van he steals, later to Xavier’s number one Elsa, beating her to death with a lamp and does this again to one of Xavier’s soldiers using a hammer.
  • The Sociopath: Jericho, due to brain damage suffered as a child. He doesn't feel hate, love or empathy, leading him to commit a long string of senseless crimes. By the time he gets used as a guinea pig in the film's experiment, he's spent most of his life in prison.
  • Transferable Memory: An experimental procedure is used to put deceased CIA agent Bill Pope's memories into the brain of convict Jericho Stewart.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Michael Pitt's attempt at a Dutch accent is terrible, and he mispronounces his own last name.


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