Alex Cross: Why the movie doesn't measure up
The latest Alex Cross movie falls short when compared to James Patterson's 12th Alex Cross crime novel. And Tyler Perry is no match on the big screen for Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross.
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Director Cohen ("The Fast and the Furious") and screenwriters Marc Moss and Kerry Williamson weave in as bland a home-life as imaginable for Cross, with his perfect wife (Carmen Ejogo), their perfect kids and his perfect live-in mom (Cicely Tyson). The filmmakers offer a miserly personal life for Kane, who's feeling his way through a new romance with a fellow detective (Monica Ashe).Skip to next paragraph
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As the irascible police chief, John C. McGinley looks permanently constipated and wishing he could be anywhere but here.
Unlike Freeman's R-rated Alex Cross movies, the grisly crimes are only talking points, the images sanitized to a Perry-friendly PG-13 level. Cohen's strong suit usually is action, but fights, chases and gunplay are mostly a jumble of quick cuts. An opening scene in which Cross literally dodges a bullet a second or more after it's fired kind of sums up the action trajectory, which eventually devolves from bad police procedural into a bad "Dirty Harry" copycat.
Fox plays Picasso like a drop-out from the Heath Ledger's Joker school of cackling villainy, repeatedly calling Cross on the phone to toss around dreary taunts.
Cross' profile technique amounts to "I don't have any concrete information about this perp so I'm going to spout vague generalities while furrowing my brow." He blathers on about Picasso as a rogue sociopath, a narcissist out to make someone suffer, maybe his mom or his dad or himself or the whole world.
"Who the hell knows?" Cross says.
Tyler Perry's Alex Cross certainly doesn't. Neither does Tyler Perry.
"Alex Cross," a Summit Entertainment release, is rated PG-13 for violence including disturbing images, sexual content, language, drug references and nudity. Running time: 102 minutes. One and a half stars out of four.
Motion Picture Association of America rating definition for PG-13: Special parental guidance strongly suggested for children under 13. Some material may be inappropriate for young children.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.