Some big, dumb movies that succeed at the box office are often described as "review proof" by the hacks that make such rubbish. They are called "review proof" because the audience watches those films no matter what the critics think about them. Marvel movies wielded such power once upon a time (my The Marvels screening was very close to getting canceled because I was the only person in the theater who bought the ticket for the Nia DaCosta film). Even these dumb blockbusters, though, sometimes allow the critics to express themselves passionately. But what tag can be given to shows like the Criminal Code (aka, DNA do Crime) that really don't provide you with any substance or style? There is nothing much to discuss or think about. Criminal Code is just not worth your time. Does "reviewless" seem appropriate?
If one were to get desperate, they could point their fingers toward positive aspects like the camaraderie between Benecio (Rômulo Braga) and Suellen (Maeve Jinkings). It's like a flickering light amidst a sea of darkness (and dullness). There is a moment in the show where Suellen jokes that her and Benecio's thoughts, as well as menstrual cycles, will get synchronized. Well, if Benecio were a woman, this joke could have very well turned out to be real. These two police officers share a solid, believable bond with each other, and both Braga and Jinkings are in fine form (she more than him). I guess one can even highlight that a bad guy who reads the Bible is saved by a pastor at one point. He also slips from the fingers of the law in Episode 1, as crucial information about him only reaches the police officers after he's freed from their clutches. It feels as if god himself is helping this guy.
His name is Soulless (Thomas Aquino), and he might just be the most significant character in this story. This shouldn't come as a surprise. Soulless, after all, is the highlight of a show that can be best described with this s-word adjective. Criminal Code bombards us with bland images to numb our senses. By the time I reached the second episode, I was close to getting unconscious (my body rejuvenated when the final episode ended). Eight hours of Criminal Code debilitate the audience. The torture would have been more bearable as a two-hour-long production. Of course, the show wouldn't have been any better as a feature, but we would have found happiness sooner. Furthermore, Criminal Code eats so much of your time and still refuses to offer you a satisfying conclusion. No, scratch that. The series doesn't manage to provide a conclusion that is satisfyingly executed. You can almost hear the screen say, "Blah."
Criminal Code is incompetent in every way possible. The personal lives of Benecio and Suellen could have given rise to some solid drama (they are workaholic officers who don't spend enough time with their family members, and hence, they become distant from them). The series, however, renders this aspect insignificant. The story merely touches on their personal experience instead of fleshing them out in detail for maximum dramatic effect. Suellen's husband, Fernando (Erom Cordeiro), is simply present for sex. At least he gets more screen time than Benecio's wife and son. Even the private life of Soulless mainly serves the plot's requirements. Aquino tries to add dimensions to his character, but his efforts don't make the show any better. The writing is weak, so everything collapses.
Then there are the terrible action scenes that have neither choreography nor excitement. They are so poorly shot and edited that the fight becomes incomprehensible. The camera during a heist in the first episode is so shaky that it instantly disconnects you from the show. In the fourth episode, we get a single-take action sequence that's nothing more than serviceable. It clearly underlines the lack of imagination and ambition of this show. I expected a twist or two during the prison mission, but even here, Criminal Code ended up being a disappointment. The filmmaking is so flat. There is no suspense, no tension. Criminal Code has just one purpose: To inform everyone that DNA analysis can effectively help the police catch criminals. This not-so-enlightening lesson comes with a heavy dose of boredom. Proceed with caution.
Get all latest content delivered to your email a few times a month.
Bringing Pop Culture News from Every Realm, Get All the Latest Movie, TV News, Reviews & Trailers
Got Any questions? Drop an email to [email protected]