Skip to main content

Movie Review: Alex Cross (2012)

Runtime: 1 hour, 41 minutes
Rated: PG-13 (for violence including disturbing images,
sexual content, language, drug references, and nudity)
Director: Rob Cohen
Writers: Marc Moss, Kerry Williamson
Starring: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Rachel Nichols
Action | Crime | Mystery

Tyler Perry goes action star in Alex Cross – the movie adaptation of the award-winning novel Cross by author James Patterson – about a gifted Detroit detective who meets his match when he goes up against a proficient serial killer who is ready to take what he values most.

With the admiration of his entire department and a psychology degree on his wall, “Dr. Alex Cross” is considering moving up to a career with the FBI when his next case gets in the way. It involves the murder and torture of a 28-year-old Taiwanese female and a trail of clues that lead right back to some big-business players.

The unknown but highly trained assassin nicknamed “Picasso” (Matthew Fox) turns his attentions on Cross, the only man who can bring him down, along with his team, including his long-time close friend and partner “Tommy Kane” (Edward Burns). As things get personal and the body-count rises with the proud detective finding that he simply cannot protect those closest to him, Cross must use his smarts, street skills, and raw instincts to go above and beyond his training to save all that he holds dear.

If you want to know who won’t be saved, it may just be audiences forced to sit through this film, but recognition of its failure does not come from not wanting it to succeed. I definitely wanted to like this movie, and Perry’s first appearance as a detective carried with it the passion, fit, and focus needed to seal his transition to action flicks (if that was what he wanted). It was Rob “The Mummy: Tomb of the Emperor Dragon” (2008), “The Fast and the Furious” (2001) Cohen’s writing and direction that let him down.

Alex Cross feels like an early-90s “buddy” cop drama with bad lines, miss-the-mark acting, and whole segments of the film that should have been re-done, trimmed, or else cut out. Dr. Alex Cross, the man, is respectably complex. His intelligence, determination, street smarts, and more down-home qualities present us with a man who isn’t built on besetting faults or quirks, but instead, a man who is able to put in view what matters most as he learns from past mistakes. There was a reasonable measure of thought that went into him. The way he fits in with his wife (Carmen Ejogo) and their three children almost makes a mark on us.

But again, the script is what kills nearly every appeal of the movie, and that is the last we see of characters hitting their mark. The psychological profile of Picasso never had much hope to start with—not when we are introduced to him when he steps into a cage match to prove to us how tough he is! And the match had nothing to do with the movie whatever. But his psychological profile isn’t accurate, either.

When he begins his murders/tortures, he is a focused, silent killer with a mission. When Cross and team go after him, he becomes a blabbermouth and gets Cross’ phone numbers and starts taunting him endlessly. So not only is the antagonist a formidable one, but Cohen simply couldn’t resist the opportunity to put in his mouth intimidation jargon to go the extra mile at convincing us of how evil he is (even after we learn how and why he dismembers his victims).

Be not at all surprised that this flick makes the common mistake of having the killer be able to find out any info on anyone he wants when he wants it. The killer can’t just be proficient with a gun or hand-to-hand combat. He has to know how to be everywhere and have thought of everything to make the good guys catching him be a 1-in-10,000 chance. I would be willing to roll with this last flaw, but that doesn’t change the fact that this film would have gotten a letter-grade bump if it had been released direct-to-DVD.

Buried six feet underneath a ton of graceless writing and some truly terrible dialog is a story where they needed to go back to the drawing board. There’s no other way of putting it. Perry and Fox both give earnest enough performances, and that makes me hate to say it all the more, but I have to be honest about the fact that there were some unintentionally funny things that stood out, one of which was the tagline: “Don’t ever cross Alex Cross!” Apparently, it was the best they could do.


Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

Movie Review: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

When free spirit “Jules” (Anna “Go Girls” Hutchison) tells her best friend “Dana” (Kristen “Revolutionary Road” Connolly) what a good time they’ll be having at a cabin in the remote woods, you automatically know and are glad that she has no idea at all what awaits her or her friends, and neither does Jules’ jock boyfriend “Curt” (Chris “Thor” Hemsworth). The same is true of their intellectual friend with his notably piercing gaze, “Holden” (Jesse “Grey’s Anatomy” Williams) and their stoner friend “Marty” (Franz “The Village” Kranz) who seems to have a better grasp of reality, despite himself. Takes all kinds.

After taking off in the RV up the mountain, they stop for gas and run into a weirdly cryptic and confrontational gas station attendant (Tim De Zarn). When they’re back on the road after a near-fight, it isn’t long before they arrive and forget all about it. Following horror movie suit in letting out their whoas about how cool the place is and how much fun they will have losing t…

Movie Review: Django Unchained (2012)

At about 3 hours long, Django Unchained is Quentin Tarantino’s latest mental sickness-inspired adventure of a slave named “Django” (Jamie Foxx) who is freed by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter, “Dr. King Schultz” (Christoph Waltz) who helps Django rescue his enslaved wife from a cruel plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) in Mississippi.