REVIEW: ALEX CROSS
SYNOPSIS: ALEX CROSS follows the young homicide detective / psychologist (Tyler Perry), from the worldwide best-selling novels by James Patterson, as he meets his match in a serial killer (Matthew Fox). The two face off in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, but when the mission gets personal, Cross is pushed to the edge of his moral and psychological limits in this taut and exciting action thriller.
REVIEW: My understanding of this latest release is that ‘Alex Cross’ is a prequel of sorts to two earlier thrillers from the late nineties and early two-thousands: ‘Kiss the Girls’ and ‘Along Came a Spider,’ both based on novels from a popular James Patterson series, and interestingly enough both starring the incomparable Morgan Freeman as detective and forensic psychologist Alex Cross.
Unfortunately for this latest Patterson release Tyler Perry, playing the part of Detective Dr. Alex Cross, appears uninformed that movie cops usually deliver some measure of coolness or toughness. His demeanor generally falls somewhere between a “Wallstreet-bailed-out banker” and a “just-starting out in life, grad-school student.” Perry’s character tends to accidentally get laughs when he angrily spews out derogatory remarks at everyone he doesn't like, labeling them as maggots. As somewhat a seasoned actor, he is simply unable to play anything other than broad comedy or melodrama, as this latest release shows. He is simply not very convincing as a high-intellect cop!
With the supposed “unsolved mystery” of this flick, it is laughable and simplistic at best. I have to say that the fight scenes between Perry’s and Fox’s characters are so jerky that they are like having a camera crew film during an earthquake. It makes the show “Cops” look like they are standing still, while filming.
The most unconvincing part is the movie itself though. It comes across as practically bipolar in its wild fluctuations of mood-swings and neurotic tone. In one scene, Cross and his team trade a little chitchat like characters in a buddy cop comedy; in the next, Fox’s Picasso is brutally murdering major characters, and everyone is sitting around Cross’ house crying like regular helpless civilians. The violence is extremely sadistic, the storyline about an assassin out to kill a self-important French industrialist (Jean Reno) is pure ‘Mickey Mouse Club’, and the scenes of Cross’ home life, featuring Cicely Tyson as his advice dispensing “Nana Mama,” are straight out of a ‘Telenovela,’ from Univision. Those scenes were just embarrassingly cheesy, to say the least.
Nevertheless, there is still something kind of admirably bizarre about this movie, which happened to be directed by Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious)… and OMG, What a psychopath? Mathew Fox’s character… aka “Picasso,” possesses a particular set of skills that would make Liam Neeson appear to be driving Ms. Daisy. Picasso is a deadly mixed martial arts fighter and ladies man and in no particular order, he is a scuba diver, an expert marksman, a locksmith, a military tactician, an uncatchable cat burglar, a computer hacker, and very accomplished artist that gives clues to his crimes, when his charcoal drawings are folded in particular ways, like paper planes. The only thing he seems to lack is eating skills: Fox, who apparently lost about 35 pounds for the role, looks like a skeleton with muscles… almost unrecognizable to some extent.
Overall, I think this is a wait and see movie and wouldn’t give it more than three stars.
By Movie-Man Stan
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