- Starring: Tyler Perry (Star Trek), Matthew Fox (Smokin’ Aces), Rachel Nichols (GI Joe: Rise of Cobra, Star Trek) and more.
- Directed by: Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious, xXx)
- Synopsis: “ALEX CROSS follows the young homicide detective/psychologist (Tyler Perry), from the worldwide best-selling novels by James Patterson, as he meets his match in a serial killer (Matthew Fox). The two face off in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, but when the mission gets personal, Cross is pushed to the edge of his moral and psychological limits in this taut and exciting action thriller.” (-Collider)
- Rated: Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, sexual content, language, and brief drug use.
Tyler Perry stars as Detective Alex Cross in this third onscreen portrayal of crime novelist James Patterson’s famous character. Previously played by Morgan Freeman in Along Came A Spider and Kiss the Girls, Detective Alex Cross is on the trail of a serial killer whose specialty is inflicting pain and torture (Played by Matthew Fox of Lost.). Things get personal when the criminal threatens not only his city and his coworkers, but also his family. Cross must utilize all of his skills and resources as a detective, psychologist, and family man to track down and confront the roaming threat in his city.
Under the direction of Rob Cohen (director of Stealth and The Fast and the Furious), Perry and Fox’s performances create the credibility of the story’s events. Tyler Perry shows that his acting ability exceeds that of “Madea” movies and he carries this film that suffers but from misdirection and insufficient screenplay writing. Alex Cross plays out like reading a book that takes a while to get moving as the screenplay wades through inconsequential and redundant supporting characters’ stories in order to bring additional emotion, attachment, and mystery to those around Alex Cross. It builds up the importance of certain characters, yet never really follows through with them in a satisfying manner. The result lends itself to nonchalant boredom.
I was curious as to the choice of Tyler Perry as the lead in this film. It is no secret that I have not been a big proponent for his movies. As a matter of fact, my very first installment of a series of posts entitled “Rants of Whine and Reason” was completely dedicated to the subject of his films. (You can read the fun post HERE). But, after reading an email that Tyler Perry sent to his followers, I opted to support Perry in an endeavor that is something completely different from his films that have complained about in the past. Take a look at the letter he wrote below: (click to enlarge)
After reading the letter (thank you to my mom who forwarded the letter she received from her subscription to TylerPerry.com to me) and watching the film, I can’t help but to feel a bit bad for Tyler Perry because the film’s failures truly are not his fault. They are the fault of the director and the screenplay writers. If Cohen’s MIS-direction is a true representation of the prowess of James Patterson’s writing, then I highly question the taste of his readers. Patterson’s popularity and noteworthiness leads me to wonder just what happened in the translation from book to screenplay?
While director Rob Cohen’s inconsistent and uncertain directing style does not translate Patterson’s story so well (such as using the shaky cam technique to boost up fight scenes and predictable plot progressions), fortunately, Cohen did get some things right. The choice in cast proved to be the better part of the film.
Those doubtful of Tyler Perry now may see a glimmer of hopefully more to come as Perry sharpens his skills as the lead in a thriller action franchise such as Alex Cross. He blends both drama and action effectively, despite the direction’s and screenplay’s misfires, and delivers what I expected from the character of James Patterson’s works. My advice to Tyler Perry: find another director for the sequel and continue to show us more variety in your film choices. Please keep it up. There’s more success with a Smith & Wesson than with a Smirk & Wig.
Alex Cross was better than I anticipated. Not great, mind you, but better than imagined. Give it a shot.
Score: 2 out of 5 stars for Alex Cross
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer
up next: “Trailer Time Thursday!”