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Tyler Perry takes on the Alex Cross character and fails miserably.
Though he's hardly the only one at fault here.
The trouble starts with the screenplay, which is nothing short of dismal. All of the main characters are one dimensional with no development whatsoever. Patterson's novel is condensed down to a formulaic and predictable plot, where you can see trouble coming a mile away. There is no development of the villain, why he does what he does and why a professional assassin would make the choices that he makes. Time makes absolutely no sense in this movie. Events must have occurred over a period of time in the book that have been condensed down to minutes in this movie. I haven't seen a movie in a while we're I've said to myself "You've got to be kidding me" multiple times because the scene was so implausible. Rob Cohen's direction is nothing short of terrible. Action scenes that are so blurry you can't tell who is beating up who. When there's not action scenes, the rest of the film is a talking heads 70's made for TV movie. The acting flat out stinks (with the exceptions of all to brief appearances of Cicely Tyson and Giancarlo Esposito). No chemistry with Perry and Ed Burns and no chemistry between the villain (Matthew Fox) and Perry. The movie score mostly sounds like a movie of the week from the 70's. The only redeeming value I find in this film is the location. There were some nice uses of Detroit buildings in the film. Other than that, don't waste your time.
It's not hard to figure out what's wrong with this movie. Skeptics may
think Tyler Perry was a bad choice to fill in a young Morgan Freeman's
shoes but he was absolutely fine in the role. Plus, Matthew Fox as a
psychopathic skinhead assassin? Hell yes. Edward Burns as Perry's
detective partner? Eh, less convincing but I'll let it slide. The
direction and the writing though... whew. It's amazing the actors were
able to recite this dialogue with a straight face.
The story of Alex Cross is a simple murder mystery - Alex Cross and his partner investigate the scene of a crime and discover that they're after a professional killer referred to as Picasso. Then things get personal and Cross plans to seek his revenge once and for all. Standard crime thriller plot, right? The problem is when the characters start talking to each other. Honestly, it's laughable how bad some of this dialogue is, especially between Cross and his family. They throw in these "emotional" scenes to break up the action but all they do is make for a really awkward paced movie. It would be passable if the dialogue actually moved the plot forward but it doesn't, at all. There are some subplots that are introduced and never brought up again. Like Alex Cross becoming an FBI agent. What was the point of even including that?
The main reason to watch this movie is for Matthew Fox. He's playing a sadist who is "fascinated by pain." Not very original but who cares, it's Matthew Fox playing a 130 pound untamable psychopath. The scenes in which we see him doing his job - stalking his targets, infiltrating their houses, taking out their body guards and whatnot - are the most interesting parts of the movie. He's really the only character given a clear cut motive and enough development to make him a decent antagonist. He's also batsh*t crazy, did I mention that? Yeah, he's a lot of fun to watch.
Unfortunately Perry isn't given nearly as much to work with. He's a generic detective masquerading under the name Alex Cross who acts as a poor man's Sherlock Holmes. His whole objective is to get into the mind of this madman while trying to maintain a steady family life, but instead of building tension between these two factors and having them play off one another and ultimately effecting Cross' personal life, the writer/director think it's more effective to jump from one setting to another with no lead-ins or relevance to what just happened or what is about to happen. The family scenes are cringeworthy, and even the dialogue with his partner gets really cheesy. I wanted to see more psychological warfare between Cross and Picasso. They try to do that in a couple scenes but it's so poorly written that you don't believe a word of it.
Tyler Perry's acting shines in a few scenes. He's certainly a capable dramatic actor and anyone who says otherwise is talking out of their ass. Thankfully I haven't seen the Madea movies so I had no prior opinion of Perry but he won me over with this. Mind you, some of his lines sound forced and awkward but that's completely on the scriptwriters. It's just impossible to be drawn to the character, and you'd think with a title like Alex Cross that we'd get a deep look into the mind of the title character, but instead they spoon-feed us this cheesy soapy dialogue and the occasional battle-of-wits with the villain that isn't the least bit intriguing. Also, the climax of this movie, if you can even call it that, is laughable. The fight scene is probably the worst camera work I have seen in an action movie. You can hardly see what's going on half the time, and once it ends you're just like, okay. Is that it?
Again, the leads save this movie from being a total bomb. I was admittedly entertained for a good portion of the movie despite its stupid dialogue. None of it is inventive or new; it's just your run-of-the-mill murder mystery that is low on thrills and high on cheese. Worth a one time watch if it's on TV or something, but really the main thing you'll remember from Alex Cross is the criminally wasted talent.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Finally, a Tyler Perry movie that is actually funny. For those who
don't know, however, Alex Cross is not meant to be a comedy. It's
supposed to be a serious action/drama. With all of its cheesy moments,
corny dialog, and doubtful plot points, Alex Cross misses entirely.
Alex Cross stars Tyler Perry as an expert detective who is about to embark on his most difficult case. The case is to track down a deranged psycho-killer played by Matthew Fox. Matthew Fox enjoys torturing people to death and playing mind games with the detectives that are on his trail. I would like to say more about the plot of this movie but sadly, there isn't much more to tell. It's that basic. You'd think a plot where a genius detective is facing an intelligent serial killer would have more complexity, but it doesn't.
There are a lot of problems with Alex Cross. For starters, the script may as well have been written by a thirteen year old. This is probably one of the worst scripts of the year. In order to buy this script, you just have to believe everything the characters say with no explanation. The character Alex Cross never proves that he's smart. The audience is just supposed to believe he's smart because other characters say so. Cross just throws out theories without backing them up and of course, they turn out to be right. For example, when Cross and his partner (Edward Burns) walk into the first handful of murders committed by Matthew Fox, Burns guesses that this must have been the work of multiple guys. Cross replies, "Nope. This was one guy." Does he bother to explain why he feels that way? Nope. In another example, Fox is on a train and Burns comes up to Cross and says, "You need to get in his head and think like him. If you were him, where would you be?" Cross thinks and then exclaims, "He's on a train!" Care to enlighten us on how you arrived to that realization Dr. Cross? The problem is, the writers clearly aren't smart enough to come up with ways for their characters to solve the case. Because this movie is so poorly written, it is unbelievably predictable. I'm no Alex Cross, but I knew exactly what was going to happen throughout the film. Literally, every scene can be predetermined by a first time viewer.
Not only is there terrible writing, but there was also terrible directing. Matthew Fox and Edward Burns are both very good actors, but they can't do anything under poor direction. Everyone in this movie is horrendous except for one person and that's Tyler Perry. I found this very surprising because I can't stand Tyler Perry's work and I thought he would be the worst thing about the movie. However, he is the only thing that can be considered somewhat decent in the movie. You can tell Perry wants to branch out but unfortunately, he can only do the best with what he was given. There were so many bad decisions made by the director. For emotion, he tries to add some family value by adding in an old sassy black woman as character. Thankfully, this character was not played by Tyler Perry. Another terrible idea was to have the camera constantly shaking because that's an action movie cliché that everyone loves (sarcasm). The camera was shaking during the most still moments. For example, the camera was shaking ferociously when, I kid you not, a woman was typing on her computer. Perhaps one of the worst decisions from the director though, was to throw in a twist at the end. Not only did he add a twist, but he made it glaringly obvious.
The only reason anyone might find Alex Cross appealing is because they get a kick out of watching bad movies or they really might enjoy seeing Tyler Perry try and do something different. Other than that, there is absolutely no reason to see this film. The acting is horrific, the dialog is idiotic, the action sequences are poorly choreographed, and the plot is 100% predictable. This movie is so bad, that you will find yourself laughing at moments when you're supposed to be either gasping or crying. D
This is hands down one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life, and I've seen a boatload of lousy movies. Both the dialog and plotting are hackneyed beyond description--not one original idea or twist, and not a single exchange that feels genuine. It's the kind of childishly obvious genre rehash in which you can tell who's going to be killed just by the relative one-dimensionality of their characters. Matthew Fox, who clearly dropped his body fat to zero for this film, will one day look back and regret all those months he went without a decent meal, because a) the movie is terrible, and b) his portrayal of a psychotic killer is ultimately a study in cliché. Ed Burns furrows his brow convincingly enough, but his easygoing charm has nowhere to go here. Likewise John McGinley, whose neurotic fatalism seems plucked from an entirely different and more lighthearted police procedural being filmed down the street. And then there's Tyler Perry, who expends so much energy in a futile attempt to project faux masculinity and criminological gravitas that he apparently has nothing left for tangential stuff like changing his facial expression once in a while. Perry can thank his lucky stars he's already a Hollywood fixture, because If this were his first movie, he'd never get another offer--truly, he's that bad.
When you make an action crime film please remember to connect all the
dots so that we, the audience, can achieve some sense of the story
line. The trailer was a slice of many of the best scenes but,
unfortunately the real film falls so sadly short of good storyline due
to poor dialog and some jerky acting that the viewer struggles to make
sense of the various actors.
If this film had been prescreened (proof read) any average movie-goer would have pointed out just how poorly made it was. I sensed that Tyler Perry gave a over acted performance. I really wanted to like this film when it first came out but, it just was so boring and unimaginative I began to realize that it was due to faulty construction of scenes and character's dialog. This was mostly due to the director.
This movie was worse than I expected. A lot worse. The blame goes all around. The script is extraordinarily weak. Too much pulling on the heart strings, not enough compelling action. The acting was completely flat, no chemistry. I swear I could hear Tyler channeling Madea at least twice. Feels like Perry and Burns dialed it in. Direction was apathetic. Hand-held camera was noticeably bad, randomly jerking and swinging wildly usually during action scenes. It felt like some weak ass 1980's/90's TV cop show. I somehow felt bad for everyone involved: Perry wanting to be an action hero; Fox trying to make a name for himself by losing 40lbs, etc. Then I thought of a line from Entourage: "It ain't easy making a movie." I heard a sequel is already being planned. Can't be any worse but don't expect me to pay to see it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Alex Cross - fictional sleuth known for taking readers on excursions
into killer's minds. Tyler Perry - personality known for making face on
This film misses the whole point of the Cross stories. The public doesn't read or see Cross stories to watch Cross emote. We want to see him solve the puzzle.
Adolescent execution, the film tells us instead of showing us. We know Alex Cross is smart because all the other characters say so. We know the first female victim was brutalized because everyone says so.
I don't know for sure but this production seems to have Perry 's fingerprints on it.
Some of the action was choreographed well. In particular the rail car footage was well done. Moreover, the child who played his daughter stood out. Fox's performance was top rate.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have read all of the Alex Cross books. I have seen the other Alex Cross movies....this "sham" is Alex Cross in title only. It's like Alex Cross in bizarro land.....his wife Maria is still alive (for a while), yet his daughter Janie appears to be around 9 or 10 years old, Damon is the younger child, they live in Detroit, his best friend and partner is a white guy; no Sampson???? The plot, the characters, everything is so far off from what it could/should be, I have to wonder if they used the title just to sucker in the many James Patterson fans. I was very sceptical of Tyler Perry playing Cross. I have to say that overall, he did a somewhat decent job. Fox was a great creepy guy. I think had they been given a better story, like maybe..um, Alex Cross to work with, and had the directing not been so cheesy,it might have been a decent movie.
Adapted from James Patterson's pulp novel 'Cross', this cat-and-mouse action flick more closely resembles an extended episode of 'NCIS' or 'Law and Order' than it does a fully-fledged feature film. The episodic narrative and say-everything-I'm-thinking dialogue destroys all subtlety and intelligence this may have had, whilst Rob Cohen's murky, in-your-face direction is over-zealous, distracting and at times makes it difficult to decipher what's actually going on in the action sequences. Tyler Perry is hugely popular in the States thanks to his dumbed-down, cross-dressing comedy output, but he goes full serious here to mixed results. Perry's not a complete dud yet is easily out-acted by Matthew Fox, whose psychotic serial killer replete with twitches, tics and crazy eyes is fun to watch and elevates this from total boredom to mediocre entertainment.
This movie is laughably bad. The only saving grace in its favour is the ability to add it to the pantheon of movies that are so bad they are good. Only, it takes itself far too seriously, and think it's far too good, to be worthy of an addition to that list. The movie is nonsense in every way. Without spoiling anything, I will sum up how ludicrous the movie is with one comment (and this kind of stuff runs throughout the movie): we are supposed to believe that a pudgy Tyler Perry can beat a super cut, super bad-ass Matthew Fox in a fight, when at the beginning of the movie Matthew Fox destroys a seasoned MMA fighter. As Dr. Evil would say: Rrrrrrright. Tyler Perry, by the way, is a horrendously bad actor. I cannot believe they were talking sequel before this movie came out. I also can't believe that the author of the books about Alex Cross was actually touting this movie. If I had written this character, and this trash came out, I could not distance myself more from this movie. I'd be like Alan Moore, and not allow my name anywhere on this crap.
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