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|Index||151 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm a big fan of the 'Alex Cross' series of books. I feel they've
weakened a little in recent years, but was still glad to hear they were
rebooting the movie series. The most exciting part of the books for me
was always the villains, The Wolf, The Mastermind, Casanova etc. and
how Cross would be effected by them and ultimately track them down and
confront them. This was key to the quality of each individual book to
me and I felt the first two movies 'Kiss the Girls' and 'Along Came a
Spider' were a real let down in this regard.
So I was glad to my find myself captivated by Matthew Fox's portrayal of Picasso. His opening scene demands your attention and his screen presence never lets up from that point on. The other thing I was always going to be interested in was how Tyler Perry went at portraying Cross. For me Morgan Freeman has always just been Cross. When I'm reading one of the books I can't help but picture him. He brought a calm serenity to the role that helped define Cross for me and I felt Perry had this as well, at least for the first half of the film.
The film really shows us two sides of Cross. At around the halfway stage, Cross's pregnant wife is shot dead by Picasso himself. This enrages Cross and sends him rogue along with his partner Thomas Kane who also has had his lover murdered by Picasso. From this point on we see a darker Cross, willing to use any means necessary to enact revenge upon his wife's killer. Perry's performance gets even better from this stage on. He nails the intensity needed to bring the audience in on the pain and drive he's feeling to achieve his ultimate goal.
The problems lie in the writing for the most part. The opening and closing action sequences just don't have any imagination. The car crash that sets up the closing one is also bizarre. Are we just supposed to believe this was a complete coincidence? Or has Cross displayed superhuman timing to achieve this, risking his friends life in the process? Incredibly lazy writing shown at that point.
It's far from perfect. The actress cast as Nana Mama was done so poorly. She had none of the charm that the character in the books has. She just came across as mean. The twist right at the end is one of the most foreseeable I can ever remember. One scene, from a big name actor, that added absolutely nothing to the story at the time = has to be a twist that he was in on it. More lazy writing.
But for all its faults its a very watchable movie. Perry and Fox are excellent and the story is entertaining, if flawed. I certainly have no objections to more additions being added to the series.
ALEX CROSS has all the ingredients we expect in a film of its sort: an
engaging plot-line, a criminal we love to hate and want to see "get
his," harrowing chase scenes, a couple of real surprises, etc. It also
has several of the corninesses and unlikelihoods that are usually found
in a film of this genre, but oh well.
Tyler Perry plays the role of the lead character, a combination psychologist-profiler-homicide detective, very naturally, and the character he plays is better developed than those in many thrillers. Matthew Fox is similarly good in the role of the psychopathic bad guy. Most of the supporting cast play their roles quite believably: There are some truly interesting characters in this film, e.g., Cicely Tyson as "Nana Mama."
Notably, ALEX CROSS succeeds in being rivetingly disturbing without a lot of gore, ultra-violence, or any serious sex/nudity to spice the cake (hence, the PG-13 rating).
I just came across this on TV, partway through, and found it compelling
enough to stop channel surfing and watch it to the end.
I think a lot of people who have reviewed this have jumped on the bandwagon and given it scathing reviews simply because some other people have and, being followers rather than voicing their own genuine opinion, they feel the need to 'tag along' and go along with the negativity.
A lot of people have said it's predictable but, as others have said, in some ways the vast majority of Hollywood movies are (and in my experience, usually the most unpredictable movies tend to come from European countries such as France, Italy and - my home country - England).
Alex Cross is NOT a bad movie and is an awful lot better than much of the usual Hollywood fodder. I thought the actors were all good and worked well together and Matthew Fox was actually more believable, and impressive, in his role than in anything else I've seen him in. I would never have thought he was capable of playing such a ruthless machine of a psychopath but he pulled it off really well and was totally believable.
So, I can definitely recommend this movie and I'd recommend anyone else to give it a go, keep an open mind and ignore most of the negativity about it on here! It's really not bad at all!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
By the time this film was available on DVD in early 2013, two more
books - Merry Christmas, Alex Cross & Alex Cross, Run - will have been
released, The films have not been nearly as steady, only getting its
third cinematic treatment and the first since 2001's Along Came a
Spider. Patterson's busily stalked protagonist did fairly well at the
box office if not inspiring critics into believing he was worth
following for another eighteen adventures. Fans of Patterson's airport
fiction might disagree despite whatever objections they had between the
films and the varying text. New fans are being sought out for the
franchise reboot though and they should be mostly pleased. Considering
they are used to ham-handed acting, amateurish fimmaking, cartoonish
villains, hypocritical motivations and a touch of old broad sass, they
should be right at home watching Tyler Perry take the lead.
As the new era begins, Alex Cross is once again chasing down another psychopath and saving a battered white girl. Along with his select team, childhood friend Tommy Kane and Monica Ashe - Who are secretly hooking up behind the boss' back - they investigate crimes of some unspecified nature in the greater Detroit area. Their special unit is hardly defined by anything other than Alec being such a master of deduction that he can tell his wife had coffee based on the blouse stain big enough to be spotted by a Fisher Price telescope from Pluto. Other than dealing with the occasional crime scene, life is good for "Detective Doctor" Alex Cross who is on the short list for an FBI job in Washington and he has just been told there's another little Cross on the way.
Also on the way is another psycho. This one, played by Matthew Fox, is a professional assassin who calls himself "The Butcher" but is referred to as "Picasso" by Tommy based on him leaving a drawing at at recent upscale massacre. There is a mystery benefactor behind The Butcher's recent spree which includes getting into underground MMA fights, paralyzing women with a special drug, and concocting elaborate break-ins to take out a French financial specialist. When Cross and Co. disrupt the latter, The Butcher takes to being bullet-grazed worse that being punched in the face.
There is a momentary fascination with the film in figuring out precisely what Fox's psychotic villain is really up to. How does buying one's way into a brutal fight connect to a stolen laptop, what's on it and how it leads to international finance? Just who is Jean Reno's one-scene millionaire is not only superfluous suspect available to be funding The Butcher? Do professional mercenaries go off-script so often to take on personal vendettas after getting a little boo-boo from their adversary For ever answer revealed in Alex Cross - and few are really offered - it opens up ten different logical conundrums over just how brilliant the particular cat and mouse really are. Loosely based on Patterson's prequel novel Cross, the screenplay by first-timer Kerry Williamson and Marc Moss - whose only previous credit is the adaptation of Patterson's Along Came a Spider - actually gets less complicated and more boring as things get pieced together. What begins as a ludicrous police procedural becomes an even more ludicrous revenge thriller that asks viewers to believe this morally-principled Sherlock-wannabe is not just ready to turn into The Punisher but also possesses the superskills necessary for an over-weight, out-of-shape, dopey, doughy detective to take on a cage fighter who overreacts to taking a single punch. There has not been a less convincing avenging angel that Tyler Perry's Alex Cross since Thomas Jane portrayed the comic world's Frank Castle by interrogating a suspect with a melting popsicle.
The stakes in Alex Cross are raised even further with the kind of vengeful horror that most professional assassins would admit is against the code. Both of the Taken films pushed the boundaries of the ratings system but did so under a kind of unwritten guide that throat-punching is less graphic than the more macho-violent fare that Sylvester Stallone has done in his Rambo and Expendable films. Alex Cross will never be confused with those, but its violence is shocking for an MPAA-rated "PG-13" mystery thriller. The connection between sexual fetish and murder is pushed during a torture scene. No less that two other crimes are committed towards women with one worthy of a funeral and the other nothing more than a cell phone snapshot. Patterson's specialty of bruising-up the fairer sex received an "R" rating when Kiss the Girls came out. Fifteen years later, viewers are apparently so numb that it can be extrapolated even while being dumbed down for those used to Perry's cartoonish portrayals of man-on-woman crimes.
All such shocking moments of Alex Cross could be all part of some calculated plan for Perry to prove that he is going hard in trying to prove what a serious, demonstrative actor he can be. Most would recommend a stint in acting classes for starters which co-star Matthew Fox is more than happy to teach. First lesson: Act with the eyes. Bug them out as far as possible to prove the depth of the character's villainy. The originally cast Idris Elba as Cross would have had to take the class on keeping a straight face in the middle of this nonsense. Lesson two goes to director Rob Cohen. With no competency as an action director and stars was wooden as Perry and Burns, shake the camera as much as humanly possible to justify urgency. James Cameron could not make a call to OnStar more dramatically riveting. Mainly because he would never create and action sequence around a call to OnStar. Alex Cross is equally silly, boring, offensive and implausible which are also its best qualities if the viewer is in a mocking kind of mood.
I have long been a fan of the John Patterson series of books about the
Alex Cross character and have read almost all of them. I read "Cross"
which is the book this movie was based on. Too bad the writers and
producers did not read it before making the movie.
First of all, the good about the movie. Tyler Perry fits the Alex Cross character description as given by James Patterson in the books more than Morgan Freeman did in the earlier movies (a resemblance to a 40 year old Mohammad Ali and Freeman sure is not that). There is enough plot to keep you interested and some pretty good stunts and special effects to keep you stimulated.
The bad is that it had little to do with the book. Alex Cross was single throughout the book series because his wife had been killed many years earlier. His partner, John Sampson, is absent and replaced with a different character. Cross is already working for The FBI in the book. The story takes place in Washington DC, not Detroit. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. On top of that, the plot was different as was the ending. I believe that if you want to base a movie on a book, it should at least resemble the book.
The next movie is supposed to be "Double Cross" which brings back the Kyle Craig character. There needs to be at least some background on Craig, his FBI ties, his relationship to Cross and to the Mastermind before this movie can become viable. Absent this, it will just be another movie that has no relationship to the book it is based on.
Bottom line is-if you just enjoy action, suspense, mystery, detective movies, you will enjoy this. If you are a fan of the Alex Cross series and somewhat of a purest, you will be disappointed.
This movie is a great one.
I understand some people may not like it as it's not "Hollywood classic style".
It's still very enjoyable to watch though.
Watch it if you like action films with lot of suspense.
It's a very nice story, with ups and downs, an epic manhunt with a psychopath... Wonderful.
It also contain emotion, since some of the main characters are killed.
But the main interest of this movie is the chase.
Very nice movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The principal character still bears the famous name of James
Patterson's 20 novels series (20 as of early 2013) but unlike the
previous two movies 'Kiss The Girls' and 'Along Came a Spider', based
respectively on the second and first novels (1st movie based on the 2nd
novel and 2nd movie on the 1st novel), the actor Morgan Freeman has
been replaced by Tyler Perry. Perry has not been pretentious about the
switch and had only praise for Freeman; he brings with him some fresh
characteristics to the character, which director Rob Cohen may well
have wanted to use for a more action based storyline, as opposed to the
more suspense and thriller mood the Gary Fleder and Lee Tamahori
directed versions are recognized for. This latest movie instalment is
based on the novel named 'Cross', the 12th in the series.
Needless to say, the reception by critics and audience alike has not been warm, given the success of the previous two and mostly because of the departure from the thriller base, to the more action based plot. That's not to say that all three did not have both action and suspense elements, because they do, but on screen, the latest instalment tips the balance in the other direction. The books don't, then again there's the development of Cross' character in the ten novels between 'Cross' and 'Kiss The Girls'. Perusing the comments from critics and other users, it would seem that Freeman's depiction of a forensic psychologist was so much more believable than that of Perry's. In the series, there is of course consistencies and circumstances that would have benefited an actor whose age and range would have been better suited than who was picked for all three movies so far. What I mean is that the Cross character in the first two movies, as successful as he was, did not depict the physical traits of the written character of the books nor does now the one depicted by Perry. In any event, it's unlikely producers of the movies have the means or luck to find actors that can, over a long period, sustain the novel series character depiction with consistencies; they adapt, always, and results are whatever those will be. We know already that the 13th novel will be put to screen and that Perry will reprise the role, building no doubt on the previous one. It may very well have better success under those set of circumstances. I believe this should prove to be the case.
I don't rate 'Alex Cross 2012' as highly as I had 'Kiss The Girls', but I found more to like in the latest than have the critics and audience. If you can view and consider 'Alex Cross 2012' on its own merit, and that appears to be difficult for many, you may rate it better than it has been. The critics could not find that objectivity, try as they might. Also influences against Perry, are the roles he played as Big Mama; that had to be a very big hurdle to overcome. I was able to disassociate Perry as Big Mama as did not see those films and have no intentions of ever doing so.
I liked Edward Burns's portrayal of Thomas Kane; he's not done any second banana role performances in all the movies I've seen with him in such roles. He added credibility to this movie and so did Jean Reno, a favorite of mine. I was delighted by the excellent performance of Matthew Fox in the role of bad guy extreme, Picasso.
I believe in time and with the upcoming "Double Cross" sequel, the 2012 film may pick up some popularity and the negatives currently in play will slowly dissipate, allowing the new Cross to find his way in the midst of movie hero worth a view.
If this was straight to TV movie or even straight to DVD movie it might
have been a alright watch. But for a movie that went straight to
theaters, this one is not worth it. Tyler Perry is decent as Alex
Cross, but he plays the more softhearted and intelligent Alex Cross
that is good with psychoanalysis. And I thought I couldn't take him
seriously at all after his Madea movies. Matthew Fox on the other hand
is great as this psychotic sadistic killer. Who has a lot of insecurity
issues. He sort of reminded me of the villain Zsasz from the Batman
series. In fact if there is a Zsasz in the next Batman reboot Mathew
Fox should play that character. Unfortunately this character just
wasn't developed enough at all. There just wasn't enough substance to
the story nor enough good action sequences or thrilling sequences to
merit this a watch. It's a rental at best but there are plenty of other
better thrillers to rent and watch. Oh and Edward Burns is pretty awful
in this and took most of the believability out of this flick.
Hollywood has got to stop making such sickeningly violent movies which
have violence for the sake of violence and not for entertainment. If
this movie has any use it can be the movie that stopped Hollywood from
making such crap since it was a box office flop.
The premise would have been mildly tolerable if they didn't make the crazy killer so violent for no reason. Matthew Fox turned into an unrecognizably gaunt monster "Picasso" for the sake of this nonsense. Tyler Perry better stick to his roles in which he is wearing a wig. Edward Burns is above this.
Don't watch it. It's just disgusting and a waste of time.
The action scenes are absolutely horrible. The cameraman must have had
Parkinson's Disease. The shaking makes the movie unwatchable. The story
line is old, and has been done repeatedly. But wait, this time its with
a black man, that makes all the difference.
Save yourself some time and money, if you want to see it grab a pirated version but don't pay for this garbage.
Or skip entirely.
Seems awkward that a professional and mature law enforcement officer acts out in the way depicted here all the while on the backdrop of gangsta rap. If there was a way to get my ~1:41:26 back I would. I have never reviewed (publically) a movie as I haven't had the need to, but this was so bad I had to review
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