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|Index||132 reviews in total|
You may think it wouldn't be possible to disgrace an author who cranks
out seven or more novels a year, but ALEX CROSS may just about manage
I have read a number of James Patterson's Cross novels, including CROSS (ostensibly the source material for this film). I would not work hard to defend their literary value, but they are very entertaining, and they certainly have the potential to be the basis for a solid series of movies. In a world where EON productions are gearing up for their 24th James Bond movie, there is no reason there couldn't be a string of decent Alex Cross movies; looks like that isn't going to happen anytime soon though.
The Alex Cross character previously appeared on screen in KISS THE GIRLS and ALONG CAME A SPIDER, where the character was played by Morgan Freeman. Given that Cross is written as a bulky, handsome, imposing man in his early 40s, Freeman was in some ways a curious casting choice. Still he has the gravitas, screen presence and charisma to pull audiences through these sometimes convoluted plots, which is more than can be said for Tyler Perry.
Perry was clearly cast because of his strong box-office track record with a loyal audience; however Perry is almost completely unknown to audiences outside the US, and even domestically his figures have been in decline (this followed suit). To be fair, Perry is just about passable in the role. He's wooden, and conveys neither the intelligence or belligerence needed to successfully bring the character (at least as written for this film) to life, but he's far from the film's biggest problem.
CROSS was a good choice of adaptation for "rebooting" the series on screen, with some nods towards an origin for the character and a strong story of a personal mission for the main character. The novel took place over a time-span of over a decade, the film condenses the events to a year or less, which was a good move. Unlike the Freeman films, ALEX CROSS does showcase Cross' home and family life, which some Patterson devotees may appreciate. On the whole however, the film is a very loose adaptation of the novel, which is fine. At least, it would be. Unfortunately, the script (co-written, oddly enough, by Marc Moss, whose only other screen credit is ALONG CAME A SPIDER), doesn't come up with anything fresh or interesting. Patterson is not the most original writer, but this film stoops to clichés that even he (to my knowledge) wisely avoids; fellow cops with clandestine relationships etc. The movie descends into generic revenge pabulum with debilitating ease, when it aspires to be a suspenseful psychological thriller. Cross here seems less a gifted, intellectual criminal psychologist, more a man blessed with psychic powers and the occasional premonition.
In the 90s, director Rob Cohen was a competent journeyman making adult potboilers, including DAYLIGHT and a TV Movie Rat Pack biopic. Suddenly, in the early 00s (his early fifties) he tried to convince the world he was a teenager with THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS and xXx, and seemed to succeed. He likes things which makes no sense but seems cool, which is OK, as most of the world does too, but water-pressure alarms and security doors which don't open from the inside are unlikely to attract the kind of audience enthusiasm that drag racing and extreme sports did a decade ago.
To his credit, Cohen has become a fairly distinctive director, and this movie has a similar feel to much of his other work. Unfortunately, his style is not appropriate for the material, and unctuous fake European accents are not necessarily the best directorial trademarks either. He has little skill with narrative, and one scene cuts to the next with no rhythm, generating little interest. The climactic fight scene is, even by recent standards, excessively incoherent and unexciting.
As it happens, where the movie does succeed is also where Patterson's writing is generally the strongest; the villain. Matthew Fox gives a very memorable performance as a fairly intriguing character. Unfortunately, he doesn't get enough screen time to get the film up to a passing grade, perhaps held back, as much is, by the PG-13 rating.
Though messy and a little silly KISS THE GIRLS was a fairly savvy adaptation and a far more intriguing and cinematic viewing experience. ALONG CAME A SPIDER was absurd and squandered much of the potential of its namesake, but it was slick, lively entertainment with welcome touches of arch humour, and was clearly the work of a gifted director. Perhaps neither were films for the ages, but while watching ALEX CROSS you find yourself pining for them.
Usually when movies get panned, I avoid them. However, once in a while
my curiosity gets the better of me and I can't resist. I probably
should have skipped this one, I never read the books but, I'm going to
go out on limb here and say that the book or books did not transition
well to the big screen. Yes that was sarcasm. I'm sure the books are an
exciting and an engrossing read, but here, the exact opposite comes to
mind when describing this movie. It's a complete bore and sitting
through this is a chore. It borders on unwatchable and though it might
not have been 2012's worst it's certainly close to the top.
I'll do the best I can to remember everything but, not even 16 hours after viewing this, it's been corroding from my mind fast. That should give you a hint on just how memorable this cinematic dump is. The only reason why I'm giving it a 2 is because of Matthew fox. He got himself into shape and prepared himself for this role, and it shows. Even though his character may have been scribbled in with a crayon,(let's face it, his character is about as one-dimensional as a cardboard cut-out, same goes for the rest of the cast) his loony, over-the-top performance is the only thing that kept me awake from slipping into a coma. As for everything else, I'm at a loss for words.
From the guy who directed The Fast and the Furious and xXx, I was at least expecting some exciting well-shot fighting scenes but, we can't get what we always want. The very few actions scenes are boring and nausea-inducing, especially the climatic fight scene. Why director Rob Cohen decided to shake the camera so much? I don't know, the two films I mentioned showcase that he's a competent action director, whatever the excuse was it doesn't matter, this is just lazy.
With the exception of Fox, the cast is dull. Though, I'm not sure the cast it completely at fault, they're not given much to do. Perry is miscast here, he has the chops but, there are better suited roles out there within his range. When he's required to show emotion he's good but, when he's required to do action he doesn't fit in well. The rest of the cast is bland and unmemorable, they all seem like they don't want to be here and I don't blame them. I'm sure they at least got nice paychecks.
I'm going to on a little tangent about the MPAA, so skip to the next paragraph if you'd like. I don't understand how something like this could get a PG-13 rating and then another movie who uses the "F" word a couple of times get an R. I would rather let a 13 year old watch something that's R because it has the "F" word a couple of times in it than letting them watch this. I'd say see this for yourself, but then that would mean you would actually have to watch this garbage. So I'll give you a few examples instead. This doesn't spoil anything but, I can't imagine why anyone would care anyway. There is one scene where we're shown a woman getting her fingers cut off, sure it's brief but, we see the whole thing. Then there's a legitimate sex scene, and I'm not talking about the brief PG-13 ones I'm talking about an actual sex scene. These are only a few examples as there are more but, that would give away something. I'm done now, time to continue....
Like the ending of this movie, I'm going to rush things here because thinking about this movie is giving me a migraine. The pacing is uneven, we're given slow set-up then the movie keeps shifting, rushing things here and there, slowing down things here and there, this is an on-going process and by the end I found myself wanting to grind my face against a cheese grater. The characters are all underdeveloped, thanks to the lazy script, I didn't care about anyone. This movie clocks in at 100 minutes yet, it felt like I was watching Titanic again. It seemed like this movie would never end.
Overall, don't even bother wasting your time. The acting is dull, the character's are cardboard cut-outs, the direction is horrible especially during the climatic fight scene, the script is lazy, and the pacing is widely uneven. There is nothing good here, except Matthew Fox, but it's still no where enough to recommend this on any level. How this movie made it to theaters is one mystery I'd like to solve.
Watched this movie last night and I have to say I was quite disappointed. The story was OK and the cinematography was good. The acting, however, was quite horrid. Ed Burns mailed in the worst performance I have ever seen him produce. Never once was I convinced that he had anything but a "little chip" of an involvement with the female partner. Nothing showed the possible love that the scripted words professed. I won't beat the dead horse about the comparisons of Tyler Perry to Morgan Freeman. There were flashes of what could have been a compelling portrait of a character, such in his interaction with his wife. The overall effect of this portrayal though was disjointed and shallow. And none of the female roles had any substance. Even the great Cicely Tyson was watered down and washed out. Disappointing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First off I have to say the movie was not what I expected. If you are a
big Tyler Perry fan then you may enjoy it more than most
action/thriller fanatics. I for one was very disappointed when i
watched the movie. Unfortunately i have read the complete Alex Cross
series written by James Patterson and I have also watched the two
previous movies with Morgan Freeman. This made my expectations high as
I was looking forward to a new look into the "world of Alex Cross".
The story line is a complete mix up and the details are so far off from the original stories it actually feels as though the writer of this script thought that James Patterson's work was not up to a level that could be appreciated. Having said that there are a few parts in the movie that are good though, the acting of the criminal is something that does meet the same level as imagined when you read one of the novels. I guess it is all down to personal preference but I did not enjoy this as much as i thought i would. If they had a whole new story line with a new serial killer but kept the facts from the books it might have been better.
The difficult part to being a psychologist/police officer is deciding if you should bill your client for time spent beating them with a phone book.
Sadly, the shielded shrink in this crime-thriller does not expound on his invoicing practices.
Detroit police lieutenant Dr. Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) and his partner Tommy (Edward Burns) are called to a crime scene where a businesswoman (Stephanie Jacobsen) was brutally murdered.
Following a clue left by the artistic assassin dubbed Picasso (Matthew Fox), Cross sets a trap at his next hit.
After Picasso eludes capture, Cross deduces that his true target is a billionaire (Jean Reno).
Angered by the detective's constant meddling, Picasso focuses his crosshairs on Cross' wife.
Full of retributive violence but low on tangible mystery, this adaptation of the popular literary character lacks a suspenseful script and a believable lead.
Besides, psychologist cops blame every murder on the killer's mother.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I had heard a lot of people say how bad Alex Cross was but I wanted to
hold out and see for myself. I have read one Alex Cross book but never
more than that so I was going in mostly blind to the character and the
book series. To say the film was a mess is an understatement. Its hard
to say exactly where the film goes wrong but bad casting, bad acting,
bad music, horrible direction and horrible editing just to name a few
of the main points that derails this film. I don't usually comment on
the intricacies of the actual film making but the editing was simply
awful. The sound and music for the film goes up and down throughout.
Sometimes the music is so loud you can hardly hear what's going on and
sometimes the dialogue is so low you can't even hear it. That can be a
good thing considering how poorly delivered many of the lines are. The
plot holes are so gapingly large that you can fire a rocket through
them. There are only a few little saving graces that save this from
being a complete and utter disaster. Some of the action scenes are
relatively entertaining and watchable. Matthew Fox as the villain is
actually almost stunning, and the production values on the special
effects are very good. But that's about where the impressiveness ends.
I heard a lot of people complain about Tyler Perry being cast as Alex Cross. I thought he could pull it off because he is a very talented and versatile actor. I was wrong. He brings no depth to the character at all and is so stereotypical that it makes you want to yawn. The scenes with emotion he over-delivers and comes across as cheesy. The character was also written very quickly so that you understand how "brilliant" he is and this comes across as pompous and annoying. He was poorly cast, no doubt about it. Edward Burns plays Cross' partner. He is written as some sort of dumb, fast talking, one liner sidekick. Its really unfortunate. The chemistry between Perry and Burns is non-existent and yet we're supposed to believe they are lifelong friends. Jean Reno makes some sort of cameo as a villain of sorts but the story around his character is so convoluted and makes very little sense that he is lost in the shuffle. I'm not even sure why he would do this. And then there is Matthew Fox who literally is the only actor that makes this worthwhile. In fact, he steals the show. His twisted, sadistic, tortured villain is a thousand times better than this film. His twitching, facial expressions, line delivery...all first rate. I don't know if I have ever seen anyone give a 10/10 performance in a 4/10 movie but Fox does it flawlessly. What a total waste of a great performance and character. However, if you're going to see this...see it for Matthew Fox.
The last thing an Alex Cross movie should be is campy. And yet the script for this and the performances are extremely campy. When watching, check out the expressions on some of the officer extras around them. Its beyond bad, like awful. With some really good action scenes there should have been some really tense moments but all of that is completely lost with bad directing and even worse editing. The fights often look low budget and cheesy like watching a WWE wrestling match. I am truly surprised that director Rob Cohen who has helmed some very good action flicks let this slip into such a bad area. Perhaps it was just the chemistry or a badly edited script but however you shake it...they screwed up Alex Cross badly. James Patterson fans may find themselves waiting a very, very long time before this gets rebooted. Until then we have the HUGELY superior Morgan Freeman films which were better in every aspect. Skip this one or watch it for Matthew Fox. 4/10
I was looking forward to this movie, since I thought this would be more
true to the books than the ones with Morgan Freeman. I was mistaken...
Our bad guy was a surprise, having only seen Fox as the doctor on Lost I enjoyed his over the top performance as a real psycho. He was pretty much the only thing I liked.
I love Jean Reno, and try to watch everything with him, but he was wasted on this movie, This role could have been filled with a nobody and it wouldn't have changed anything.
We know the actors can act, and the director can direct, so why are we left with a movie with bland acting and characters we care little about. It even seems that the characters don't even care about what happens to each other.
This movie should win an award for irritating camera-work. The climax was so shaky I wished I could skip it. Can only imagine how sick I would be if I had been drinking before seeing it.
It is far from the worst movie I have seen, and would probably have seen it no matter the reviews, and a lot of you probably feel the same way, but please don't set your expectations high since this is not a very good movie.
Adapted from the acclaimed James Patterson novels, the film adaptation
of 'Alex Cross' is a mixed bag, worth watching for several notable
features which can do nothing but fail to salvage the whole affair.
A painfully miscast Tyler Perry receives top billing as a rogue detective facing off against a threatening antagonist played excellently by 'LOST' alum Matthew Fox, who brings an unsettling edge to his character, exploring his motivations where the bland screenplay dares not. Equally complacent is Rob Cohen's direction, which reduces film's technical and artistic merit to that of a television serial. This isn't improved on by an attempt to emphasise characters that, at the same time, are being drawn with a comic edge that negates the serious tone.
With Patterson likely responsible for any ingenuity plot wise, the writers and producers at least owed the material a thrilling big screen adaptation. Yet even with a number of clever set pieces demanding tension and spectacle, 'Alex Cross' still fires blanks.
I was really looking forward to this movie after having read many of
the books written by Patterson and I must say my eagerness to watch it
as soon as it was released maybe makes my review a little more negative
than it would have been if i did not know and understand the character
Alex cross, one can never compare a book to the movie, but the basic
building blocks of a story must remain intact for it to be at least
I can not see any of the Patterson magic in this movie, to be honest it is one of those movies that will go down in history as being overrated and misunderstood by both actors and the director. The Alex cross from the books is nowhere to be seen, there is too much of the "leave it up to the audience to decipher his inner thoughts" and this lets it down.
Hopefully anyone looking at the director and editors of this, to do work in the future will look at this and decide that maybe taking a chance on some college graduates would be a safer bet.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Matthew Fox was a main reason why I think it's worth seeing the film.
He's acting was perfect. Tyler Perry was on the other hand something I
would skip forward if I had remote in my hand. Not sure who chose him
as a main star of the film. It was almost annoying to watch him act.
They made him the chosen one of the unit. It was getting really silly
sometimes whole team was depending on him. Edward Burns role was bad as
well, not that he is bad actor he did what he could with the poor
script and role of a useless cop who always ask what to do "Dr.Alex"
And can't start his relationships without Alex all mighty approval.
Like please.. He is your partner not a father.
Ending was terrible if it would ended with cliff hanger or assassin running away I would give the movie hire score and would recommend my friends to see it. Last fight was terrible and doesn't make any sense. The assassin was train and skilled MMA fighter which were shown in the beginning of the film. And Dr.overweight fried chicken Alex could keep up with him and even overpower him many times. It made me angry since I practiced MMA for 2 years. Many good actors but I would rather hire one less and pay someone better to be the main detective. Yes if not for the ending or perhaps main actor I would really enjoy it more. Now how can I get a refund!?
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