Alex Cross

Posted October 21, 2012 by in


Total Score

1/ 5

Quick Stats

Genre: action-thriller
Director: Rob Cohen
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Actors: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Edward Burns, Rachel Nichols
Length: 101 minutes
Release Date: 10/19/2012
Studio: QED International, Envision Entertainment Corporation, IAC Productions, James Patterson Entertainment

What We Disliked:

lacks suspense, action isn't exciting
What We Thought

Alex Cross is meant for fans of the series, who will no doubt find disappointment in this adaptation.

by Daniel Hodgson
Full Article

A deranged hitman dubbed “Picasso” (Matthew Fox) goes after an influential CEO, murdering his mistress and targeting his underlings, working his way up to the CEO himself. When Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) and his team prevent a hit, Picasso goes after Cross’s team and his family.

The problem is that Picasso delivers on the threat to those close to Cross much too early. Using Chess as an analogy, if someone threatens your King, that puts you on edge. The game–and all of the excitement–is over the moment they take it. A game that’s over in too few moves is dull indeed.

Alex Cross then becomes an action-heavy revenge drama. However, there’s so little investment in the characters that we don’t care if Cross gets his payback or not. There is supposed to be some suspense in finding Picasso and stopping him before he gets to Mercier (Jean Reno), the CEO, but he’s so thinly written (like everyone else) that his life or death amounts to a colossal whoop-de-do.

The shoot-outs and chase scenes are shot and cut in the shaky-cam quick-cut style that persists in modern movies, obscuring the action instead of increasing the excitement. However, it’s even shakier here than in The Hunger Games, etc.–action scenes rock about violently, as if something cataclysmic were happening, when it’s merely a car chase. Perhaps the camera operator was furious that day, and took it out on the Arricam. It’s the only explanation.

The actors uniformly struggle with pulpy dialog, and it’s clear the director and the source material are mismatched. Rob Cohen was responsible for action flicks for teenagers, such as xXx and The Fast and the Furious. This is a movie about a detective with a Ph.D. in psychology. Perry brings intelligence to the role, but lacks the detachment Freeman brought to it back in 1997’s Kiss the Girls. Kiss the Girls took itself seriously, had real mystery to it, and was memorable. This film is memorably ludicrous–the main villain can fit a gun in his shoe.

Alex Cross is based on James Patterson’s novel Cross*. It’s the twelfth novel in the series. This is the third movie that’s been theatrically released; there is too much assumed attachment to the characters and their significance for this film to work. Alex Cross is meant for fans of the series, who will no doubt find disappointment in this adaptation.


About the Author

Daniel Hodgson

Daniel has a degree in film from the University of Texas at Austin, and writes about himself in the third-person, because that's the fashion.


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