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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Alex Cross

Alex Cross
Action (Thriller)
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 101 minutes
Starring: Tyler Perry, Edward Burns, Rachel Nichols, Matthew Fox, Jean Reno
Directed By: Rob Cohen
Rating 3 out of 10
Detective Alex Cross, must use all of his considerable tactics and expertise in bringing down a deranged serial killer.

Morgan Freeman played the Alex Cross character in the movies Kiss the Girls, and Along Came a Spider. He has been replaced by Tyler Perry. Tyler Perry? Seriously? The guy who dresses up as Big Mama is trying to be an action star now? I guess Anthony Anderson, the dude who played Carl Winslow on Family Matters, and Kenan Thompson, were all busy. This is a movie about a homicide detective named Alex Cross. He is about to take on his most challenging case yet. He has to try and track down a serial killer/assassin who specializes in torture and pain.

Now, I know I start off this review by trashing Tyler Perry, but I always go into movies with an open mind. I was ready for Tyler Perry to prove me wrong and guess what? He failed, and he failed hard. It is not to say this film was poor because of him, but he was a huge part of the problem. The film starts off and we see Alex Cross and a few of his fellow detectives chasing a suspect through some abandoned buildings. It is a choppy mess and frankly it does not start the movie off on the right foot. It is supposed to establish that Cross’s team is a cohesive unit and a close knit family. That feeling of closeness will not be felt by most viewers. The next thing they try and do is establish the bad guy, named Picasso. Picasso is a sociopathic nightmare, who revels in other people’s pain and misfortune. He likes to remove a victim’s body parts just for fun. Picasso is a bad guy that you can easily dislike as he reeks of evil. So, there you have it. Alex Cross is the good guy, and Picasso is the bad guy. The film never gets any deeper than a cat and mouse chase throughout the city. Sure they try and make this some twisting story of political maneuvering and intrigue, but that is merely a feint. The biggest mistake this film makes is introducing us to Picasso so early on. We see him in all his twisted glory as he kills at will. Kiss the Girls worked because it was a creepy mystery that needed solving. Alex Cross fails, as it is little more than a cheesy action film.

Alex Cross as I mentioned earlier, is played by Tyler Perry. All joking aside, he is just a very generic and forgettable character in this. This role could have been played by any actor in Hollywood, and it would have been more convincing then Perry. He is reprising a role that was started by Morgan Freeman. That is like replacing Daniel Day Lewis with Paul Walker. Perry has zero chemistry with anyone in this film. It also doesn’t help that he is supported on screen by an odd cast of characters. Edward Burns plays his partner, Thomas Kane. Burns pops up from time to time in films and I always wonder what he has been up to. He then starts speaking and I wish he had stayed hidden. He just never comes across as believable to me. Rachel Nichols plays another one of Cross’s team members, and she will barely register with the viewer. Lastly, there was Picasso played by Matthew Fox. He is the best part of this film (not saying much). He got in shape for this film, and he played the serial killer part quite well in my mind. He seems crazy and barely in control of his emotions at all times. Because the good guys were so terrible in this, I felt I was actually pulling for Picasso to win. His major down fall is that he was on the screen for too much of the film. Because of this fact, his performance loses a lot of its luster about 3 quarters of the way through. Overall, Fox was the only one to pull his weight.

As the film continues on, it is up to Cross and his team to bring down this killer. Of course as the bodies pile up, Picasso leaves clues on purpose for the police to track him. It is in this search for the killer that this film just didn’t work for me. Picasso is an expert killer, who takes down body guards, takes down former military, and takes down many other law enforcement agents, but struggles to deal with Cross’s team. It is absurd. Instead of a film where Cross uses his intellect to solve the murders, it is little more than a shoot em up, vigilante type film. It is supposed to be Cross as you have never have seen him before, but this is Cross as you will never want to see him again. As the film drags from scene to scene, you will be treated with random gun fights, cheesy dialogue with Cross’s family, and special effects that inspire little confidence in the film. Who will come out on top, Picasso or Cross? It is a battle of brains and brawn, where there can be only one victor. In conclusion, this film has little to cheer about. The characters are too simple or out of place. The story is basic and unrewarding. And Perry is not a great person to lead a film like this. Matthew Fox tries his best to bring relevance to this film, but his performance is mired by his over use.

Director Rob Cohen has been doing this a long time. With such films as XXX and Fast and the Furious on his resume, you would think he could have coaxed something a little better out of this movie. His casting is strange, the pacing is suspect, and the emotional connections are lacking. He also edits this film like he is strung out on Starbucks coffee. You try to focus, but the blurry sequences are frustrating to watch. This film will bore you with its story and then upset you with its bad action. Truly this film seems lost from quite early on.

I cannot recommend this film and it proves one thing, if you have seen one movie based on James Patterson’s work, then there is no need to see another.

T Factor + If you like James Patterson’s books, then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you do not like Matthew Fox as an actor, then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this movie reel recommendations: The Watcher, 88 Minutes 

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