Main cast: Tyler Perry (Dr Alex Cross), Edward Burns (Tommy Kane), Matthew Fox (Picasso), Jean Reno (Giles Mercier), Carmen Ejongo (Maria Cross), Rachel Nichols (Monica Ashe), Werner Daehn (Erich Nunemacher), Stephanie Jacobsen (Fan Yau Lee), and John C McGinley (Captain Richard Brookwell)
Director: Rob Cohen
Tyler Perry steps into Morgan Freeman‘s shoes in Alex Cross the movie designed as a reboot of a franchise adapted from James Patterson’s thrillers featuring our psychologist-cum-police detective called, of course, Alex Cross. It takes a while to get used to Mr Perry, who is more well-known for performing in drag, especially following Morgan Freeman’s quiet performance, but he is the least of the problems plaguing this movie.
Basically, Alex Cross and his partner, Tommy Kane, along with Tommy’s colleague and girlfriend Monica Ashe are called to investigate the murder of a businesswoman, who had all her ten fingers cut off. The assassin, Picasso, can’t resist leaving behind clues for Alex and friends, and before these guys know it, they are all dragged into a most predictable soap opera.
I have not read those books by James Patterson, but I can easily predict the whole plot of this movie about one hour into it. The problem here is that the movie is full of tried and tired clichés, so much so that the moment some characters show up, I can easily predict how these characters will fare later on. Alex’s wife tells him that she’s pregnant with their third kid, and yes, that happens eventually. It’s the same with everything else – if I have seen two or three cop-versus-deranged-killer movies before, I can try to map out this whole movie without seeing more than half an hour of it, and still get nearly everything correct.
Mr Perry manages to go all sober and tough here as if he’d been injected with a special Botox jab that gives him a permanent scowl, and Edward Burns is always going to be Edward Burns. The female cast members are forced into roles as stereotypical as the rest of the movie – they are either victims or faux tough ladies that can’t get anything right and have to be rescued anyway. Jean Reno and Werner Daehn play oh-so-typical shifty foreigner sorts with untrustworthy accent – roles that they could perform while half-asleep by now. Oh, and Matthew Fox demonstrates that punching women is just a small part of his creepy guy repertoire, but at least he looks like he’s having fun here.
The script is dismal. Alex Cross is portrayed as this sage-like guy with sixth sense, it seems, because he can just stare ahead into space and correctly deduce things like the location of Picasso without needing any clues to guide him. There is hardly any interesting action, the cast has no chemistry with each other, and frankly, it looks like the whole movie is cobbled together by kids that are blindly attempting to copy other movies of this sort.
Ultimately, Alex Cross is an encyclopedia of very tired and dull police thriller clichés. There is hardly any entertainment to be had here, and therefore, there is hardly any reason to even bother with this.