Directed by: Rob Cohen
Cast: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Ed Burns, Jean Reno, Rachel Nichols
Running Time: 1 hr 41 mins
Release Date: October 19, 2012
PLOT: Alex Cross (Perry) is a detective trying to track down a professional hitman (Fox), but things turn personal and Alex must decide how far he’s willing to go.
WHO’S IT FOR? Do you find yourself watching a lot of those CBS hour-long dramas? Then this should be just as easy to digest.
Alex Cross is all about Alex Cross, and one thing is certain after watching Alex Cross … Alex Cross is perfect. The film begins with Alex capturing the bad guy, with a little help from his partners Monica (Nichols) and Tommy (Burns). Next we see Alex counseling a troubled teen who got herself locked up, because Alex cares. Then we see him motivate his daughter on the piano. Cop, counselor, dad, and what’s that? His wife tells him about more good news. Just so the audience is clear, Alex declares, “I’m happy.” Goodness me, isn’t Alex’s life perfect? Isn’t he perfect? Unfortunately, all of that makes from a pretty boring character.
The addition of a psychotic-looking, gaunt, yet chiseled Matthew Fox as Picasso is meant to shake this perfect world up. He’s a perfect killing machine, taking out corporate … oh it doesn’t actually matter who he’s trying to kill. The important thing is Cross’s team gets in the way, and now Picasso wants revenge. He’s called Picasso because he likes to do charcoal sketches. Fox is really going for it with this role, I just can’t figure out why. It’s like he decided this was his Raging Bull transformation. It’s a waste.
Alex has to figure out how far he’s willing to go for revenge. It all feels very basic. While Perry does a good job of creating a loving presence (when it is called for), he down-and-dirty, willing-to-do-anything persona never shines.
The addition of Giancarlo Esposito, Jean Reno and John C. McGinley makes this film feel like a TV pilot. I could easily see CBS have larger plans for this concept, with the exact same cast. The pacing, and over-talking also makes this feel like a long TV episode. Almost everything seems to be overly discussed, like a long car ride between childhood buddies Alex and Tommy, or Alex and his mom talking about Alex’s next move.
Alex is supposed to suck you in with his superior knowledge, but it’s not possible to keep up with his advanced detective skills, so he just tells you the answer. Flaws typically help letting the audience in, and understanding the protagonist, but not here. Everything feels ordinary about this film, but the extra ending (“It’s not over!”) and the shaky camera during the lazy fight sequences send this movie just slightly below average.
We all know Kris Kross will make you jump, jump. Alex Cross will make you want to shrug your shoulders and move on to the next movie.
FINAL SCORE: 4/10