Alex Cross (2012)

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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 1.2/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 4/10

ALEX CROSS (2012) - Rob Cohen

First of all, flip Tyler Perry and Matthew Fox's positions on the poster.

For a film to truly bond with the audience, the actors and the director need to collaborate. If one side fails, the resulting product will suffer a wound. A late 2012 release, Alex Cross is the prime example of a film with a potential cast of actors who are unable to break their chains from an irritating director. The wit is no Sherlock Holmes and the action is no Jason Bourne.

Alex Cross revolves around the title character Alex Cross (Tyler Perry), a professional detective and police lieutenant who lives in the city of Detroit. With his partner, Tommy Kane (Edward Burns), Cross begins to investigate a recent brutal murder, eventually tracking down an ex-military psycho killer who goes by the name Picasso (Matthew Fox).

There is no problem with straightforward crime films, as long as the directing is satisfying, the acting believable, and the writing tolerable. For Alex Cross, whose plot bears a strong sense of mystery, there is no sense of intelligence existent here. The first flaw of the film lies within the screenplay. Even though Cross is an expert detective, the script never takes time to show his intelligence. When investigating a murder, Kane believes that a group committed the crime. Cross, on the other hand, is convinced that the entire crime was carried out by one man instead. Why does he think that? How did he come to that conclusion? The film never explains it.

The audience is then forced to accept everything that the film tells them. As a result, Cross is not someone the audience can believe in, but rather someone that the audience is forced to trust. With no explanations within the characters' thinking patterns and their declarations, the writing of Alex Cross becomes exceedingly predictable. This is no Sherlock Holmes. This is more like Scooby-Doo. By the way, Cross manages to call out the killer's location within a few seconds, after his partner asks him to "get into the killer's head."

It is truly disappointing to see that Burns and the rest of the supporting cast did not try hard enough. Alex Cross' partner is Private Reiban? There should be some powerhouse performances here. Apparently not. Fortunately enough, Perry and Fox do deliver in this disjointed flick. Though many remember Fox from the famous series Lost, he is now muscular and extremely fit, with his veins clear as day and his facial features hardened and gritty. Though his given dialogue is very wooden and cliche, Fox presents enough madness and spontaneity in his acting to meet the expectations.

As for Perry, he is most notorious for his Madea films, where he portrays a tall elderly woman. Here, he surprisingly breaks his formula and plays a character who is most of the time serious and earnest. Perry might not portray an expert detective well, but he does successfully portray a man who is determined to stop a deranged lunatic. However, do not even think about comparing Perry to Morgan Freeman. Unfortunately, Perry and Fox come together in sluggish confrontations throughout Alex Cross

The entire film is very poorly directed. Unlike much smarter directors like Guy Ritchie or even Paul Greengrass, Rob Cohen ingenuously shakes the camera in the middle of every action scene and furthermore, places his characters in the murkiest environments. With no knowledge that other components like editing and music can also pump up action, Cohen comes forth as either an action director who is inexperienced or an action director who is simply lazy. In the end, the final product is something that comes along the lines of sloppy and upsetting.

Alex Cross is, without a doubt, one of the worst films of 2012. With bland direction and a horribly executed screenplay, Cohen's newest fiasco squanders Perry's fresh performance, a potentially welcomed cast, and a chance for clever writing. For sure, there is still room for simplistic cat and mouse films to be enjoyed, but there is definitely no room for conventional products like Alex Cross. "Don't ever cross Alex Cross"? Sure thing, stay away from this film.



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