Alex Cross Blu-ray Review -

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Mania Grade: C-

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  • Rated: PG-13
  • Starring: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Edward Burns
  • Written By: James Patterson (novel), Marc Moss (screenplay)
  • Directed By: Rob Cohen
  • Distributor: Summit Home Entertainment
  • Original Year of Release: 2012
  • Special Features: See Below
  • Series:

Alex Cross Blu-ray Review

Tyler Perry is no Morgan Freeman

By Tim Janson     February 25, 2013

Alex Cross is the third film to feature the title character and star of the best-selling mystery and thriller series of novels written by James Patterson.  In the first two films the character was portrayed by Morgan Freeman and this time around he is played by Tyler Perry in a reboot/prequel.  Cross is a forensic psychologist with the FBI although in this film he has not joined the FBI yet and is still a lieutenant with the Detroit Police Department.  Cross is offered a job with the FBI but his pregnant wife is reluctant to move to Washington D.C. 

Fox and his team of Tommy (Burns) and Monica (Rachel Nichols) are investigating a murderer who is targeting several extremely wealthy targets.  They are able to thwart the attempt on the life of a German businessman and in retaliation the killer, who calls himself Picasso (Fox) turns his attention to Cross and his team.  The sadistic Picasso first murders Cross’s wife and then tortures and kills Monica who was Tommy’s lover.

Cross and Tommy now risk their careers, breaking into the Detroit Police evidence lockup in order to get the information they need to hunt down Picasso before he can take out his last wealthy victim, a billionaire named Giles Mercier (Jean Reno), and disappear.

Cross is one of those Sherlock Holmes type minds who can make deductions from the most scant pieces of evidence.  The problem is that Rob Cohen almost gives Cross a superhuman level of intuition.  With a fluffball script, Cross just seems to figure everything out without any effort to rationalize how he did so.  So you end up with a guy who is the smartest guy in the room going up against a sadistic nutcase in a bizarre series of silly cat and mouse contests.  Picasso is one jump ahead of Cross but drives around in a car equipped with Onstar that allows him to be tracked.

It’s this sort of wild inconsistency that causes Alex Cross to shoot itself in the foot and it’s stopped off with an utterly stupid twist ending.  I would hazard to guess that Picasso would not have a long career as a hitman being so easily upset that he loses sight of his main target to begin a vendetta with local law enforcement.  Perry is a talented writer and producer but less so of an actor, particularly for a dramatic thriller such as this.  He’s far too wooden and his range of emotions is almost nonexistent.  

Matthew Fox is little better as the psychotic hitman.  Fox’s attempt to come off as a cold-blooded killer is trumped by his over-the-top nuttiness.  Subtlety is not the character’s strong point!  And I’m not sure what’s going on with him but he appears to have been on a hunger strike since Lost went off the air.  He looks positively anorexic and unhealthy.

John C. McGinley plays Cross’s commanding officer Captain Brookwell and he’s equally horrible.  As a native of the Detroit area I can tell you that a dimwit like this wouldn’t last a week in the city.  Burns is always solid in supporting roles although he isn’t given much to do here.  Cicely Tyson plays Cross’s grandmother and she’s also enjoyable.  It’s nice to see Tyson back onscreen in recent years after she had mostly been absent from films for some 20 years.

Blu-Ray Extras

Audio Commentary with Director Rob Cohen

The Psychologist and the Butcher: Adapting and filming Alex Cross (14:00)  short making of documentary featuring interviews with cast members as well as James Patterson.

Deleted Scenes (5:00)


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sacredtrilogy 2/25/2013 8:42:31 AM

Wow, the book doesn't claim to be a reboot at all, in fact the book is the 12th story in chronilogical order. There are flashbacks that do take place in the novel though. If they just stuck to the source material e.i. the book, the movie wouldve been great. They need a director like david fincher to make a movie like this, it's gotta be dark, explicate & horrible in a good way. I hate that the movie became an action thriller and wasnt more along the lines as "Seven". Anyone that thinks this movie is semi-good needs to read the books because your in for a big surprise. Source Material is the KEY! Movies like this make me into that guy that says "the books way better".

tjanson 2/25/2013 10:53:33 AM

Sacred...have not read the books but I'd agree with you from what I know.  I think they missed the mark in trying to make this more action than thriller.

MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 2/25/2013 12:07:51 PM

This movie SUCKED. The worst movie last year. No redeeming value at all.

tjanson 2/25/2013 3:25:12 PM

well...worst movie might be a bit of an overstatement...I just watched a piece of dreck called "Spiders" last night....far worse

MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 2/26/2013 7:33:31 AM

Well worst big budget.

skoora 2/26/2013 10:58:09 AM

 As soon as I saw Cohen was directing I knew it would have the depth of a puddle. Another action/visual director who knows nothing about good writing/characters or decent story.

VTGamehendge 2/26/2013 5:54:54 PM

I just can't Tyler Perry seriously in a role like this.  I keep waiting for him to break out into his Madea character.

Angerfist 3/2/2013 3:01:26 AM

This movie is terrible.

Tyler Perry was not good in this role.  I guess we shouldn't expect much from an 'actor' who took the role of Madea.  It's not all his fault it's the script.

Matthew Fox  (Jack from Lost) really didn't shine in this either.  There was no motive, no passion.  The script just didn't make sense. At times he was trying to be Hitman, and then the writers made him into a crazy psychopath.

Edward Burns is horrific. He reminds me of so many talentless actors/actresses who cannot act their way out of a paper bag.  He's the same guy in every movie. It just doesn't work.  Maybe he's just a male Jennifer Aniston? 

The trailer looked interesting, but the movie itself is not.



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