Thursday, June 22, 2017


Year 9, Day 173 - 6/22/17 - Movie #2,668

BEFORE: Based on the cast lists, this could have been my lead-out from "Wonder Woman", and it could also have led right into "Jason Bourne", but that would have disrupted the placement I already had in mind for it, namely connecting "Mr. Brooks" and tomorrow's film.  So I found "The Zero Theorem" instead to do that early June linking, and now I'm all caught up and I can move forward, and approach that week of animated films on Netflix, with "Spider-Man: Homecoming" on the horizon.

So Kevin Costner carries over from "Mr. Brooks", and I promise this will make some more sense tomorrow.  (Yeah, sure...I say that all the time and it's never really true...)

THE 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 the hopes that he will complete the operative's mission.

AFTER: For the 2nd night in a row, Kevin Costner plays a sociopathic killer - only here he's given the opportunity to possibly gain release by working for the government and letting them do some brain-salad surgery to give him another man's memories.  He's like a one-man "Suicide Squad", I suppose, or a two-man Jason Bourne.  (or you could say this is like "Face-Off", only with brain surgery instead of face transplants...) Did he really volunteer for this project, or was he not given any choice?

He's also perfect for this project because he has an undeveloped frontal lobe, due to a childhood injury or some kind of genetic quirk, it's not really clear - take your pick, I suppose.  This enables the "brain pattern" (knowledge? memories?  I'm not quite sure...) off the agent to be grafted into his brain.  You know, because actually putting the other guy's brain into his skull would take too much time, and they're on a tight schedule for saving the world.  Still, it's laughable that about 10 minutes after brain surgery, this guy is awake and ready to sneak himself out of the hospital.  Right, no post-operative procedure or recovery period.  Tick-tock, times a-wasting!

You see, there's a man who wants to take down the government - which one?  Why, all of them!  And to do this he's got a hacker named the Dutchman who created a "Wormhole" on the Dark Web that somehow gives him control of the entire planet's nuclear arsenal.  This CIA agent, Bill Pope, was able to get the Dutchman to a safe hiding place before he expired, so those memories in his head contain the only known location of where the guy is.  Why doesn't the CIA just check his Seamless account to find out where food is being sent - even the Dutchman's got to eat some time, right?

Nope, it's (apparently) easier to have a convict undergo a complicated, experimental procedure and throw him out into the field, to see if he remembers any of the other guy's memories.  It's only the fate of the free world resting on this long-shot, after all.  And it doesn't seem to work at first, but then once the headaches go away, he remembers that there's something hidden behind books written by George Orwell, so he goes to the library in London.  Sure, like there's only one library in the greater London area...and we know he's a sociopath because he cuts to the head of the line, in a library.  Really, who DOES that?

The implanted memories also drive him to seek out the dead agent's wife and daughter.  Right, that won't creep this woman out at all, to meet a criminal with her dead husband's memories of their time together....why, that won't be awkward at all!  And then the rest of the plan basically involves driving this guy around all of London, to see if anything jogs the other guys' memories, or something.  Sure enough, eventually he remembers where the other guy left the bag, and the Dutchman - but a coherent plot thread continues to be elusive.

Honestly, by this time I'd fallen asleep, and I had to force myself awake, try to find the place where I left off and then try to continue, only to fall asleep again.  This happened several times before I was forced to give up, go to sleep for real and then watch the last half hour of the film in the morning.  You might have more fun with this film if you think of it as being set in the DC Universe, and Commissioner Gordon authorizes the transfer of Green Lantern's brain into Jonathan Kent's body via a procedure created by Two-Face so they can save the world with help from Green Lantern's wife, who happens to be Wonder Woman.

Also starring Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones (last seen in "Jason Bourne"), Ryan Reynolds (last seen in "Logan", sort of...), Gal Gadot (last seen in "Wonder Woman"), Jordi Molla (last seen in "In the Heart of the Sea"), Michael Pitt (last seen in "Seven Psychopaths"), Alice Eve (last seen in "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb"), Amaury Nolasco, Antje Traue (last seen in "Woman in Gold"), Scott Adkins (last seen in "The Brothers Grimsby"), Lara Decaro with cameos from Piers Morgan, Robert Davi (last seen in "The Expendables 3")

RATING: 3 out of 10 headaches

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