Film Review: Alex Cross

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Credit: Summit Entertainment

 

I don’t see Tyler Perry movies because I’m not his target audience. Well to be truthful, ailment they just don’t appeal to me. But when I heard Perry was cast as the lead in an action movie, this web I thought to myself that I may have to consider him more than just the man who writes, for sale directs and acts in movies and plays for women.

   

Well played, Tyler Perry, well played.

 

 

While the movie “Alex Cross” is not based on any particular James Patterson’s novels, it (the movie) is credited to the adaptation of the book entitled “Cross.” Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) is a Detroit PD detective tackling the city’s most high profile cases. After a young woman is tortured to death in an affluent neighborhood, Cross follows the only clue the killer, dubbed “Picasso” (Matthew Fox), leaves behind to his next target. Detecting Picasso’s pattern, Cross squares off in a game of wits with the life of Leon Mercier (Jean Reno) hanging in the balance. But after the death of a fellow detective, Cross has to keep the rest of his unit and family safe by capturing Picasso.

   

“Alex Cross” was a solid movie and by solid I mean average. It didn’t knock me off my feet, but it didn’t let me down either. Unlike the previous psychological thrillers, “Kiss the Girls” and “Along Came A Spider,” Alex Cross is an action film that didn’t delve very deep into the mystery of solving the crime. In fact the serial killer, Picasso was made known earlier on in the film.

 

Credit: Summit Entertainment

 

The beginning of the move felt rushed to me. It seemed as if they wanted a lot happening fast in order to set up the cat and mouse game between Cross and Picasso but the movie settled quite nicely once their game began.

 

 

Matthew Fox was 100% psycho as Picasso but the dynamics of the Picasso character was sacrificed for the action. Picasso is touted as being a notorious serial killer but as far as the movie is concerned he’s only a hired gun, albeit, the best. You will find out why Picasso was involved in the murders but you never learn his motivation to be a killer in the first place. However, salvation came in the fact that the movie pulled out all of the stops and allowed every worst case scenario to unfold at Cross’ expense pushing his moral boundaries in the name of justice to stop Picasso.

   

But something is going to give when you go from an intellectual, reflective Morgan Freeman version of Alex Cross to an action hero Alex Cross. The script cheaply played up Cross’ psychological prowess in heavy doses in between action scenes rather than Cross being the constant thinker from previous films so it would be unfair for me to place the shortcomings of the movie squarely on the shoulders of Tyler Perry.

 

Credit: Summit Entertainment

 

Madea did slip out a few times when Cross was frantic but when he was angry Tyler Perry saw red as Alex Cross. And if you hadn’t noticed, Tyler Perry isn’t a small dude so the director used that to Cross’ advantage during the fight scenes – Cross threw his weight around with heavy kicks and blows. However, the shaky-camera effect was just way too much during the fight scene, which took away from it.

   

Idris Elba was originally cast to play Alex Cross. So Idris Elba fans will probably be disappointed just because he (seemingly) fits the “action” mold better. But I didn’t care either way. I just want the actor to convince me of his character. I think Tyler Perry did that.

 

 

I believe Tyler Perry wants to move beyond the world of Madea. The question is will you give him a chance?

   

The other cast members include Cicely Tyson as Cross’ mother, Nana Mama; Giancarlo Esposito as Cross’ informant named Daramus Holiday; and Carmen Ejogo rounding out the supporting actors as Cross’ wife, Maria.

   

Movie Moment of Zen:
The Tyler Perry fans who came dressed in their Sunday-best to a midnite showing.

   

Disclaimer: I’m an employee of Turner Broadcasting, a division of Time Warner, however the views expressed in this post are of my own.

   

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