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Alex Cross

Review by: Richard Carpenter
Alex Cross

Genre: Action | Crime | Mystery

Director: Rob Cohen

Cast: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox and Rachel Nichols

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for Rated PG-13 for violence including disturbing images, sexual content, language, drug references, and nudity

Critic Rating:

Alex Cross is Detroit’s finest homicide detective. He can tell what you had for breakfast just by the look on your face. His partners, Tommy (Edward Burns) and Monica (Rachel Nichols) may be tough, but Cross (Tyler Perry) is the brains of the team and this film never lets you forget it. As a Doctor of psychology, Cross delves in to the mysterious minds of his enemies. He even solves the riddle behind his wife’s sneaky attempt to surprise him with good news. It is the one person that Cross fails to understand that leads to tragedy. The villain of the film, played by Mathew Fox of Lost fame, is one that we tend to see quite often these days: a man so twisted he can hardly be called human. When the twisted villain crosses the line, Alex Cross reacts in kind. The two go head to head until good and evil become morally ambiguous in this old fashioned tale of good versus evil.

But by “old fashioned” I mean, totally unoriginal. Alex Cross might be a film about great universal themes, like loss and revenge, but it is so uninspired that it made me wonder if I have just become a hard-hearted old man. From the opening scene of the film, my worst fears became reality before my eyes: this was just another action film with absurd action sequences meant to dazzle audiences even if they don’t move the story forward. Yet even the dazzle did not dazzle, it only hurt my ears and made me dizzy with all the shaky camera work.

When it comes to establishing the characters and deep relationships, director Rob Cohen gives mildly entertaining, but tiresome examples of a father’s relationship with his daughter, or the tough Grandma with a sharp tongue that everyone is lovingly afraid of–in every instance, the film gives us what we expect but never what we need in order to connect to the story. It was a movie full of clich├ęs when all I wanted was to be drawn in. Yet, never once did I forget that I was watching a movie.

Ok, ok, maybe I’m over critical. Maybe Alex Cross isn’t meant to be a critically acclaimed, academy award winning film. Ok, so then why should we watch it? With all of the great films out there waiting to change your life, why would you want to waist time with just another forgettable action film?

Oh, and BTW Tyler Perry is the main actor. You know, the guy that makes all those movies about African-American culture. Because he is in the movie, I expected there to be some culturally relevant pay off in the end, nope. Nothin. I felt that this was a casting error. Tyler Perry is this funny, affable black guy that everybody loves. He’s not a tough, crime fighting machine. I could be wrong, but it seems like the only reason Tyler Perry was cast as Alex Cross was name recognition. Put Denzel Washington in there, then we might have a watchable movie.

Alex Cross keeps it clean in the language department, but has some pretty rough action sequences and brutal violence, including torture. Even though it is rated PG-13, I personally would have given it the R.

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