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Frequently so bad it's good again

Author: Adam Foidart from Winnipeg
28 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So Bad it's good rating: 3,5/5 "Alex Cross" is a by-the-book detective thriller that's kind of enjoyable to watch, but isn't particularly good. Dr. Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) is a psychologist and police lieutenant who's one top of the world. His long time best friend Tommy Kane (Edward Burns) is his partner on the police squad, he's got a beautiful, loving wife, two daughters, another baby on the way and his sassy mother (or is it grandmother?) lives with him in a huge house. He's so good at his job he can tell you what your favorite colour is based on the type of ice cream you ordered. That's when our villain for the movie comes in. Matthew Fox plays a devious serial murderer nicknamed "The Picasso Killer". He uses a drug that paralyzes people's bodies (but not their eyes or their mouths) yet enables them to feel pain. He tortures them to get information, then kills them for fun and, feeling inspired, creates a charcoal drawing afterward for the police to keep. Apparently, this guy's been hired, or has some kind of super elaborate agenda because he is going after high-ranking employees of CEO Giles Mercier's company (Mercier is played by Jean Reno). When Cross gets in the way, Picasso decides to take the fight to a whole new, personal level...

I'm not going to say that this movie's great. I wouldn't even say it's good, but it is entertaining. The entertainment value is mostly due to the game of cat-and-mouse between Alex Cross and Picasso. I give credit to the movie for actually making two characters that feel like they are evenly matched. Alex Cross might be a super detective, but Picasso, he's a super assassin with Batman-level gadgets and insane skills. You will not believe to what lengths this guy goes to get his prey and you will wonder how many people will bite the dust before Cross manages to take him down. I also enjoyed Matthew Fox's totally outlandish performance as the killer. It's a nice balance to Tyler Perry's totally wooden and bland performance. Kind of like a steak that's totally burnt on the outside and raw on the inside, but tasty around the edges where the two extremes meet. The film is that right mix of flat-out ridiculous, predictable and bad elements combined with enough actually intriguing developments to make the whole thing watchable. Well, as long as it's with a bunch of friends who will make it that much more fun by laughing at it.

When it comes to the bad elements, there's no shortage in "Alex Cross". Here are some more memorable examples. Characters that appear to be crucial to the plot are suddenly dropped from the story entirely. What, I ask you, happened to Rachel Nichols' character? I don't mean the obvious. I mean: can someone tell me why there's a big moment with her, and then we never see her again? Characters are either ridiculously skilled, or so dumb they would struggle to survive on a daily basis. When it becomes obvious that the Picasso killer is inside a building, looking to kill his next target Tommy hears an explosion and runs out of the room, leaving the intended target alone for the killer to pick off. What a dummy! This is also a movie where characters just know things because as long as they're off-screen they don't actually exist within the movie. While on the side, they're sitting in a comfortably while reading the script and taking notes. Take the Picasso killer. He's just encountered the police for the first time, unexpectedly. Somehow though, he just happens to have a newspaper clipping showing Alex Cross, his partner and the other officer that confronted him tacked on his wall. How did he figure out who was going to come after him? Afterwards, how does he figure out where these people live? The only explanation can be that he read the script and it told him where to go.

Another great example: Cross is talking to a high-ranking criminal in a car so that they can be "alone". He's bribing the criminal in order to get some much needed information to catch Picasso. The bribe in question is a piece of evidence that would otherwise incriminate the guy if the case was ever revived. The bad guy comments that on top of the pistol that Alex is offering him, there was another one in the evidence locker. At that very moment, Tommy shines the laser scope on the mobster's forehead, shutting him up and making him agree to cooperate. Understand that Tommy is at least 10 meters away and there was no way he could have heard the conversation. How did he know the exact moment to shine the light on the guy's forehead? For that matter, why didn't the body guards catch the guy pulling out the gun and pointing it towards their boss? "Alex Cross" is a film that's badly put together and not particularly inventive either. The editing is simply awful when it comes to the action sequences, the characters' actions often don't make any sense and the story is utter madness more than once. Let's not forget the performances from the leads, which are so outlandish I recommend you watch the film just to see them. Tyler Perry is 100% uncharismatic and about as emotive as the Easter Island statues. Matthew Fox, he's playing an all-out lunatic, so over-the-top he's straight from a cartoon. The film is never really painful to watch, but the director really let these actors down. It boils down to a complete mess that's so bad, it becomes good again. (On DVD, August 1, 2014)

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Movie is Only Like Book In Name

Author: italianredneckgirl from paradise
13 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***Contains Spoilers****** I have been a fan of the Alex Cross series since the very beginning. I was shocked when we found out the ending in Big Bad Wolf and waited and waited for these movies to start rolling in. First, Tyler Perry, come on! Where was James Patterson when castings were auditioned for? Alex Cross was clearly more of a,the late, Michael Clark Duncan, Denzel role. But anyone, anyone other than Tyler Perry. Frankly, the entire movie was cast inappropriately. And the spots where it's clear, the screen writing was trying to cram Cross' entire back-story into 1 movie, was sloppy at best. Not true to the integrity of Patterson's fast-paced, page turning fervor we are accustomed to. The only hope is that they aren't making any more.

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Bang Ka-pow-thud

Author: rps-2 from Bracebridge Ont
29 November 2014

I continued watching this movie with increasing disgust just to see how bad it would get. It did not disappoint me. This is yet another graphic (and bloody and violent and pornographic) example of the decay of American society. If they had made movies in the last days of the Roman Empire, they would have been like this. The film starts with a violent gun battle, moves to no holds barred bare knuckle boxing and soon is showing sexual scenes that leave nothing to the imagination. On top of all this, it is set (although only partially shot)in Detroit, that urban symbol of everything that is wrong with American society. Hollywood pours out violent, negative films like this, full of gun violence then people recoil in horror when an 11 year old boy brandishing a BB gun and believing that life really is as portrayed in the movies is shot and killed by police.

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It turns out that Morgan Freeman is the REAL serial killer . . .

Author: Edgar Allan Pooh from The Gutters of Baltimore
22 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

. . . back in Detroit, when he was Madea. It's as if director Rob Cohen was bankrolled to make history's most ridiculous cop film ever. His cynical treatment suggests that the FBI recruited ALEX CROSS (portrayed by Mr. Freeman in two earlier films set AFTER this "prequel") because Cross was more of a rogue operator\"loose cannon" than Col. Oliver North. Cross is willing to bludgeon fellow (but HONEST) cops, return murder weapons to the known killers, manufacture illegal weapons, plant "evidence" to frame suspects on capital charges, and summarily execute unarmed citizens. The one thing that Cross is NOT good at is figuring out criminals and solving or preventing crimes, as he enables the crooks to rub out one of his partners, plus his wife, as well as most of the non-Black population of the Motor City. To make matters worse, LOST's heroic Dr. Jack is reduced here to cutting off hot chicks' fingers for the fun of it (when he's not destroying guys twice his size in cage fights). Yet when Matthew Fox ("Dr. Jack") faces Tyler Perry ("Madea") Mano A Mano, Madea makes mincemeat of a guy who up till then has been twice as tough and ten times as smart as anyone else on screen here. It's as if somebody spiked Popeye's spinach with stupid pills. The only thing about ALEX CROSS that rings true is that everyone DOES flee Detroit sooner rather than later!

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A horrible mess from start to finish

Author: brchthethird from United States
14 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tyler Perry and, to a similar degree, Matthew Fox do the best they can with a mediocre film which suffers from poor writing and direction. The drama and suspense is greatly lacking, and the action is poorly shot in the currently vogue shaky-cam style. The worst instance of this is in the climactic scene, which should have been how the movie ended. This brings me to another fault I have with the movie: the second ending, where Jean Reno's character gets his comeuppance. The scene was completely unnecessary and didn't make too much sense, especially with the way it ties things up a little too conveniently. Honestly, his character didn't even need to be in the movie. Doesn't really deserve a rental or VOD, but it's fairly good for one, mindless viewing.

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Cross it Out

Author: kapelusznik18 from United States
3 November 2014

****SPOILERS**** Off the wall police drama involving super-cop and brainy Alex Cross, Tyler Perry, a Detroit policemen as well as part time psychoanalyst. Cross gets himself involved with this high priced just released from a mental institution assassin known as the "Butcher of Slygo", Matthew Fox, who's out to destroy the cities's, that's on the verge of bankruptcy, top political financier German industrialist Giles Mercier, Jean Reno, so it can be taken over, in what were made to believe , a group of Wall Street vulture capitalists. Cross himself was looking to exit Detroit and get a job with the FBI as a criminal profiler that paid 35% more then as a Detroit cop as well provided him and his family with full dental care which was all the motivation he needed. But it was his gabby old lady, wife, Maria, Carmen Ejogo, who wanted no part of it. Which made Cross have second thoughts putting her in front of him getting ahead in the world of law enforcement.

It was a lucky stroke for Cross when the "Butcher" knocked off Maria at a local restaurant, when he distracted Cross on the phone, that the by know mad as hell cop decided to stay in Detroit, like his old lady wanted him too, and take care of business in giving the "Butcher" everything that he had coming to him. This had Cross and his team of crime fighters Thomas Kane, Edward Burns, and Jody Klebanoff, Bonnie Bentley, get on the "Butcher's" tail who in fact was anything but the freelance psycho killer that Cross thought that he was.

****SPOILERS**** It's later on that we realize whom the "Butcher" was working for that involved a sick financial scam thought up by his greedy employer to save what little in money he still had left after the disastrous stock market crash on 2008! As well as keep him from going to jail for both stock fraud and insider trading that in fact, by backfiring on him, almost wipe him out. This ridicules plan also was soon to soon backfired when Cross and his partners Kane & Kelbanoff planted two kilos of cocaine on him at his hideout in far off Indonesia. That sudden turn of events had him busted by the local police and sentenced to death, by firing squad, by the state court!

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I'd better have watched a German police movie.

Author: david-robin from France
18 September 2014

- the crime-scene cop, the one who is supposed to convey the horror of what he just found ... is the doctor of "Scrub". - the romance between 2 criminal investigators, in love since they're 12... - "Our killer thinks he is a Picasso". says the police team-mate... - "We are all formers from the German police" say the bodyguards...

At this point in the film, I had HUGE doubts regarding the potential of film. And then I saw skinny Matthew Fox swimming in a decorative water pipe, and I totally lost hope.

I will try to stick to plans, and produce a serious review :

- the plot is stupid. Main character Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) investigates the crimes of a contract killer, who gives out transparent clues on his next target by drawing Picasso-inspired fusains (just because he is crazy). The uninspired writers had several reminiscence of David Fincher's seVen (pregnant wife, self-punishment, etc).

- the cinematography is worse than most TV series.

- the music score by John Debney (several Marvel soundtracks, "Hanna Montana") is transparent. The crying violins are repeatedly boring. The moments of emotional tension are highlighted by digital percussions.

- the actors? ...ah ah. AH AH AH!

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Not as bad as other reviewers suggest

Author: jsaus63304 from United States
17 April 2014

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.

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Poor Acting And Screenplay

Author: Desertman84 from United States
9 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Alex Cross is a crime thriller that stars Tyler Perry in the title role.It tells a story about how Cross meets his match in the Picasso,portrayed by Matthew Fox. This is the third film that features the character Alex Cross, the main character in a series of novels by James Patterson.The movie was was adapted from the novel "Cross," written by screenwriters Marc Moss and Kerry Williamson.It was directed Rob Cohen.

In the film,Cross' main target is a psycho named Picasso, a serial killer who tortures and mutilates his victims. Picasso is a bellicose suit-wearing monster who early on takes off his jacket and tie and reveals the psychopath within. When Cross studies the crime scenes he's left and watches as Picasso continue killing innocents around town.But when the mission gets personal,he is pushed to the edge of his moral and psychological limit.

It is too bad that Tyler Moore does not hold a candle to the performance of Morgan Freeman,who performed Alex Cross in the two previous movies namely,Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider.Added to that,the story is dull,predictable and boring.It is far from interesting as it is clichéd and has an unbearable dialogue.Added to that,the action scenes does not contribute to make the film even better.Skip this one.

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Tyler Perry - Sign of Mediocrity

Author: imdb-45 from New York
6 March 2014

This film is an embarrassment. It makes B movies look like top notch thrillers. Everything is wrong with this film, exaggerated and unnatural, like almost everything I've seen Tyler Perry produce. The script is predictable and laughable. There is no chemistry between the actors and the dialog is stilted, awkward and difficult to hear.

Perry's character, Alex Cross, is a psychic genius. He can tell what went on at a scene just by his very presence. He knows one man did everything because... well... he's just so darn smart. He has the same cool demeanor the entire film and he's just not a credible character.

The worst part is that there are no twists that can't be seen a mile away and the film plays out from beginning to end without surprises. A serial killer wants to take out everyone and now it's up to our resident genius to prevent that from happening. Even the mediocre "Along Came a Spider" which featured Morgan Freeman was miles ahead of this farce. This is the kind of film that goes straight to video and gets played late night on free TV channels, if you want to waste your time on this (but certainly not your money.)

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