U.S. Release Date: 4/15/16
In Criminal, a new thriller from filmmaker Ariel Vroman, a dead man tells tales.
Thanks to constantly evolving high tech goodies, the movie suggests, memories of the dead may one day be transferred into the living. In the film’s press notes, star Kevin Costner says the implications of such a feat, if ever achieved, would be “vast.”
Vroman’s new thriller imagines such a scenario. Jerico Stewart, a death row inmate (Costner), is, under the orders of a CIA big whig Quaker Wells (Gary Oldman), implanted with the memories of deceased CIA agent Bill Pope in the hopes that a terrorist known as “The Dutchman,” (Michael Pitt), who has suddenly gained control of the US military’s Central Command, can be swiftly eliminated. All this comes after the Pope is killed in the middle of a top-secret mission to take out the Dutchman – a man he has been tracking some time.
The procedure, performed by a renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Franks (Tommy Lee Jones) is successful, but high tech gains, of course, don’t come sans a heavy price. Jerico is swamped by Pope’s consciousness, which means he’s also inundated with memories of the agent’s widow (Gal Gadot) and their child.
“Our main character, Jerico, is a person who starts with no feelings and no real emotions and then he goes on an incredible journey,” Costner says. “He acquires all these memories from CIA agent Bill Pope’s mind and he has to react to an entirely new view of life. Because of the massively high stakes, that core emotional story is surrounded by a plot that has great suspense and lots of action. That really appealed to me.”
According to Vroman, who previously directed true-life crime thriller The Iceman, the tale is a strong cocktail of action and drama.
“This is a big thriller. We have massive action sequences with cars, helicopter and the huge Airbus 400, along with intense fight scenes and excitement,” Vromen points out. “However, I believe today’s audiences are also looking for something beyond thrilling explosions and car crashes. I felt the unique journey of Jerico’s growth into a different person could be just as exciting as the non-stop action.”
As for Costner’s character, he’s a true sociopath who’s unable to discern right from wrong.
“He is so unpredictable that he is not even allowed near anyone in jail,” Costner reveals. “After his operation, Jerico starts going back and forth between who he was and who Bill Pope is. He’s very mixed-up and suddenly he’s comprehending things and having sensations that he’s never experienced before on every level. And that’s what I had to figure out how to portray.”
Director: Ariel Vroman
Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Alice Eve, Michael Pitt , Jordi Mollà, Antje Traue, Scott Adkins, Amaury Nolasco, Danny Webb, Colin Salmon and Gal Gadot
Screenwriters: Douglas Cook and David Weisberg
Producers: J.C. Spink, Jake Weiner, Matt O’Toole, Mark Gill and Christa Campbell
Image Info: Kevin Costner stars as ‘Jerico Stewart’ in CRIMINAL. Photo Credit: Jack English
Source Info: Information in this article, including quotes, is sourced from press material pertaining to Criminal © 2016 Lions Gate Films. All Rights Reserved