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|Index||151 reviews in total|
The greatest problem in this movie is how it's been conceived, with the whole plot seeming extremely unlikely. Nothing about this thriller is thrilling, everything's clichéd and quite tedious. Furthermore much of the dialogue feels forced as blatant exposition is placed throughout normal conversations. Even when the movie (rarely) surprises the audience the script offers very little. When you think the movie has manipulated you into trying to care about these characters, all of a sudden it reveals an unnecessary. "Alex Cross" tries to be a grand thriller but fails on nearly every level. It's the script and the plot making this Cross unbearable.
Let's start off with the director. I don't dislike Rob Cohen. Many people believe that "XXX: State of the union" was a flop because of him. However, I think he was walking into a bad one to start with. Knight Rider was iffy at best. Honestly, the last movie that he was involved in that I would give a couple of thumbs up to would be Running Man. Still a classic. Being handed a gauntlet as big as the Alex Cross books is not an easy thing to hold on to. The books were amazing, but we have seen that they can be converted into great movies simply by watching "Along Came a Spider" and "Kiss the Girls". I feel that he most likely over directed the movie. The characters were too boxed in. The lines, facial expressions and body motions looked choppy and uncomfortable. However, was this his fault? Not necessarily. The actors in the movie were simply incorrect for it. First of all, I cannot classify Tyler Perry as a top of the line actor, but he is not horrible. He has been in some good movies and has had me rolling on the floor a couple of times. Not only was he working out of his comfort zone (very noticeably so), but he was following the work of... wait for it... MORGAN EFFING FREEMAN. Not many can follow that. I think the most over directed person was probably Matthew Fox. The character he played made no sense. His actions and personality did not in any way shape or form link up with the books. The facial expressions and movements looked like they would work in a video game, but definitely not in a movie. We have seen him play a character with this type of background, so it could not be all his fault. I cannot describe what is wrong with Nana Mama in this movie. She showed none of the characteristics from the books that made me fall for the character. She acted almost as psychotic as the assassin. Fudged story line, over directing, character mismatches, failed relationship connections, on and on and on.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm not a big Tyler Perry fan, and in portraying Alex Cross he was
stepping into some pretty big shoes, since the character had been twice
played by Morgan Freeman (In Along Came A Spider and Kiss The Girls) -
who I do like. So my expectation weren't exactly at a premium coming
in. As far as Perry was concerned, I'd say he was all right in the
role. He was nothing special; he wasn't Morgan Freeman. But he was all
right. He had his own unique take on the character. Alex Cross in this
movie is rougher, coarser, more violent - but just as cerebral in his
own way. That evolution of the character was undoubtedly to allow this
to take on more of an action feel, and it was fuelled by the plot
device of having Cross's wife killed off by the serial killer he's
trying to find. So for at least half of this movie, Cross is less the
psychologist/detective and more the grieving husband seeking vengeance
against his wife's killer. Honestly, it made the character somewhat
less noble, and it made the movie somewhat over the top at times.
One thing that was definitely needed was a little better explanation of the serial killer and his motives - and of the motives of the guy who hired him. Another thing that would have helped would have been a bit more passion or energy in the performances. No one (including Perry) really stood out in this and took hold of the movie. I also wasn't clear on the need to kill off Monica (Rachel Nichols) - Cross's colleague. She was involved with Cross's other partner Kane (Edward Burns) but killing her off at virtually the same time Cross's wife was killed made her death fade away into the background a bit and we never really thought about it all that much.
However, there were some things that worked well. There were a few "cover your eyes" moments at the beginning, as the torture of the first victim was portrayed. The killing of Cross's wife (although it seemed, as I said, contrived more as a way of evolving the character than an integral and necessary part of the film) certainly brought some emotional reactions forth, and the final confrontation between Cross and the killer was pretty well done.
I wouldn't call this a failure. It's received some pretty bad reviews. I'm going to rate it as a 6/10, but I don't think it was good enough to result in any ongoing Alex Cross movies, if that was the intention of the producers.
*** 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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The DVD deleted scene with Cross figuring out the height & weight of the villain would have gone a long way to giving credibility to the character - rather than thinking he knew every thing just because he read the script. The other deleted scenes also added more to the story. Matthew Fox's transformation from his Lost character to Picasso was amazing. Switching from a good cop to bad cop seemed arbitrary and way over done. The director seemed to just go through the motions without regard for how the story would be viewed. Parts of his DVD commentary regarding current politicians and how he avoided taxes were pathetic and should have been excised by the producers.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Tyler Perry's, Alex Cross, wasn't even that bad considering the other movies he's made. So basically the movie was very average and the only thing holding it together was Matthew Fox's role. Typically, it starts off with the usual cliché 'save the day' scenario where Perry''s character, the Almighty Detective Alex Cross, catches yet another bad guy. After this ever so tiresome day of ridding the city from evil its clear his life is going smoothly; receiving news of his unborn child and a promising job opportunity at the FBI, what could possibly go awry? Cue in Mr. Fox. Matthew Fox is incredibly believable in his role as Picassso, a psychotic killer using unthinkable methods to torture his victims. His presence in the film was riveting which had you rooting for him rather than the police achieving justice. The movie in my opinion is a 5. When Cross' wife is shot by Picasso it is emphasized in the film with the scene of the death and funeral however when one of his fellow police mates are tortured and killed by Picasso its like no one cared. The movie probably mentioned it in two lines and that was it. It was if it was swept underneath the rug. So unrealistic. And the fact that Cross predicted the arrival of Picasso two seconds before he actually arrived in the last scene made me roll my eyes so hard I was borderline having a stroke. If I was deducting points from this movie for all the loose ends and its unrealistic nature, the score would be non existent. So I now present this film with 4 points for Matthew Fox's great achievement in portraying a crazy bug eyed killer and 1 point for Tyler Perry actually hiring Matthew Fox. Kudos Tyler Perry! At least you got something right.
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.
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