Alex Cross

“Alex Cross” is a silly film.

Unfortunately, it’s not a comedy.

Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) is a police detective with a leaning towards the psychological aspects of crime, owing to his background in psychology. He and his team catch a crime scene that looks as though they’re dealing with a cross between a psychopathic serial killer and professional hit man. The victims are a well guarded, wealthy woman and her three armed bodyguards. Her bodyguards were easily dispatched of, and none of her money or jewels were taken. Clearly an indication of a pro. Yet she was tortured while the killer sat nearby and sketched… obviously a sign of a psychopath.

“Picasso” (Matthew Fox), we’re shown, is fascinated by pain. He’s a lean, trained assassin who gets off on his work. He also has a major screw loose… there’s an undeniably masochistic element involved in what he does that stems from some unrevealed but hinted at trauma in his past.

Cross and his team unravel the clues “Picasso” left for them at the scene and determine his next victim. They then encounter him as he makes his next attack, and wind up foiling the kill for him. Which leaves “Picasso” very angry. After that, things become personal. Cross’ idyllic home life is threatened as “Picasso” turns his psychotic attention to the cop that almost caught him.

“Alex Cross” is some serious amateur hour stuff. The story struck me as something kids might make up, playing an imaginary game of cops and robbers. “Oh yeah? Well, I’ll just whip out a bazooka! BOOM!” “Pffft… I dive out of the way! And then I get in my car and chase after you and slam it into you!” “So? I jump out of the car and get away!” You get the idea. It feels as if the script was written in large “Easy to Read” font. “Picasso” has borderline superpowers. When it’s time to turn his attention to the Cops, he immediately has their names, numbers, addresses… But that’s ok, Cross has his share of mystical abilities, too. For example, he figures out who victim B will be from a clue at left victim A’s by performing a Mad Magazine fold-in trick on the sketch Picasso left behind.

I think both of the leads are a little out of their depth here. Both give earnest efforts at it, but neither had enough talent to turn this leaden script into gold. Fox’s psychopath was laughable to me from the moment I saw the first trailer, and seeing the film in its entirety did nothing to change my mind. Perry is sincere here, but he barely has 1/100th the charisma of his predecessor (Morgan Freeman). I’m glad now that I’ve seen it that Idris Elba didn’t wind up with this role (it was his for a while), I just don’t think this movie was salvageable.

D

16 thoughts on “Alex Cross

  1. I thought the trailer looked mostly laughable but with some potential. Good to see my first instinct was correct. Is there even any attempt to tie this into the chronology of the two Morgan Freeman flicks or is it a straight reboot?

    • Uhm, I guess I would call it a straight reboot, seeing as I didn’t pick up on any references to any material outside of the current film.

      In fairness though, I’m not super versed in the prior movies. I’ve seen them both, but I don’t recall either of them that well…

  2. I don’t think I was even aware that this was connected to the Freeman movies until the last trailer. Didn’t seem very impressive even with that knowledge. Thanks for taking one for the team, Fogs.

  3. Fox should avoid playing the villain. He’s just no good at it! When his character turned villainous in the ok Vantage Point, it just became a bit laughable. Might have been his bad Spanish accent too.

    Tyler Perry, I have no experience of whatsoever! I think I should count myself lucky, right?

    Why does crap like this get made? How does it get made!?

    • Finances. Theatres need product, actors need work… Crank up the machine!! :D Fox WAS pretty laughable here. I couldnt buy into it at all. Meanwhile, Tyler Perry gets a bad rap for cranking out the cross dressing grandma movies left and right. Actually, I’ve never watched one of those, myself. But this wasn’t that. This was just a case of a guy who doesn’t have the wattage to save a poor movie. I cant hold that against him. That could happen to a lot of actors.

  4. You know, I gotta say that I liked “Why Did I Get Married?”, which was directed by Tyler Perry. It was probably saved by the cast, though, who by an large were all very likable. So I don’t dislike Mr. Perry, because he’s done some good stuff.

    Sad to hear that this isn’t great, though, since I do like the Alex Cross character.

  5. Well here I am…joining in the fun!

    I agree with a lot of this…but maybe because I’m a girl, I can’t appreciate Bond, and because you’re a guy, you can’t appreciate Picasso. Can we just leave it at that? ;)

    No seriously, you didn’t like him at all? Setting aside the Tyler Perry and the bazookas and the what not, there’s some pretty cool scenes in here…again, not involving Perry.

    I guess there’s way more potential than actual good movie here. They could have made a more amped up Zodiac film, with Elba being a quiet detective, and Fox being a psychopathic monster who can still blend into a crowd when necessary. Or they could have even twisted it into a sci-fi film, with Picasso being the victim of a malfunctioning drug that produces Bourne-like effects, and now he’s out to get revenge on the company that’s recalling the drug because he wants everyone to be like him…Remember the Max Payne with Mark Wahlberg? That creepy blue medicine that makes you see kickass angels…that kind of thing.

    See, I’m already coming up with stuff. Is this really the best you could do, Tyler Perry? Avenging your wife? Really?

    • “maybe because I’m a girl, I can’t appreciate Bond, and because you’re a guy, you can’t appreciate Picasso. Can we just leave it at that?”

      LOL. Sure. I dont actually think thats the situation, but if that makes you feel better about it Livi? Im fine with it. :D

      LOL. Its not hard to come up with better ideas than this flick offered. It was very poorly written. Very poorly written. :(

      • Yes, I admit it. I watched this film partly after seeing the cage fighting scene. Yes, I’m a terrible person and they should never let me review films because I get distracted, yes, yes, yes…
        Thanks for allowing me my odd/different opinion though – it makes sense in my head, but it probably seems like nuts to you!
        Every now and then, I come across a crappy movie but because of a certain character/actor in it I defend it like it’s the end of the world and I can’t let anyone damage it all. AC is my latest flick like that.

        Or maybe it’s just because my last name is “Cross?” I have to defend my (VERY extended) family here lol!

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