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Alex Cross

A movie directed by Rob Cohen

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Tyler Perry's "Medea Solves A Crime!"

  • May 28, 2013
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That about sums up not only my thoughts but also a wide array of critical assessment to Rob Cohen’s take on the ALEX CROSS franchise.  What we have here is a not so much a crime procedural – as I’ve been told the books are – but, instead, a weirdly and unintentionally comic revenge film.  Think of it as DEATH WISH by way of literary clout.  I couldn’t say how well the picture captures the spirit of the James Patterson books as I haven’t read any of them, but, if this flick is any indication, I’m not all that interested either.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary for the discussion of plot and characters.  If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my final assessment.  If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
Detective Dr. Alex Cross (played curiously by Tyler Perry) is a renowned homicide detective and revered psychologist hot on the trail of a serial killer nicknamed ‘Picasso’ (played by LOST’s Matthew Fox).  Unfortunately, Cross gets too deeply under Picasso’s skin, leading the man to shoot the detective’s wife dead, which – of course – only ups the stakes as these two “masterminds” push one another to the edge (!!!) in this thriller.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much thrill in this thriller as the script postulates one silly sequence after another.  It all has something to do with the high pressures of international finance – or so we’re led to believe – but those players are reduced to simply stereotypes and the actors are put the requisite, predictable pacing.  We’re told (repeatedly) that Alex Cross is one of the best in the game, but yet he never quite seems to keep up with even the most basic elements of a police procedural.  (Sarcasm) Screen legend (/sarcasm) Edward Burns is along for the ride, and he gripes and bleeds accordingly.  We’re reminded that he’s a top investigator, as well, but don’t look for him to act as such either.
Therein lies the rub – when you have to tell the audience something they should see unfolding organically, then it ends up feeling illegitimate.
Even worse, the killer Picasso is drawn into Detroit on a mission to (apparently) wipe out the heads of multi-national corporations, but he’s given absolutely zero background nor personal history to make one understand the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of his chosen profession.  Again, we’re “told” he’s the best in the business, and we’re expected to accept all of this nonsense at face value.  Apparently, it has something to do with his “affection” for inflicting pain – he’s a scholar on the subject, he tells us.  It all ends up being tired – with utterly no payoff – and the climax between Cross and Picasso is so horribly photographed by shaky-cam you’ll end up with a headache if you watch too closely.
ALEX CROSS is produced by QED International, Block/Hanson, Emmett/Furla Films, and a host of others, including James Patterson Entertainment.  DVD distribution is being handled through Summit Entertainment.  As for the technical specifications, it all looks and sounds about as high quality as it can get.  There are a handful of special features, including an audio commentary from director Cohen, a short about adapting CROSS for the screen, and some deleted scenes.
(MILDLY) RECOMMENDED.  Meh.  “Medea Solves A Crime” really sums this one up as there’s very little substance behind a film based on a popular series of novels by James Patterson.  Some of the fault lies in Tyler Perry’s inability to project any real gravitas to the seminal character of Dr. Cross, but much more blame could be put at the feet of screenwriters Marc Moss and Kerry Williamson; unfortunately, there’s so much that happens in here that makes little sense or is given circumstantial history … not enough for this discerning viewer.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Summit Entertainment provided me with a DVD copy of ALEX CROSS for the expressed purposes of completing this review.

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May 30, 2013
I had the opportunity to see this for free....but I think I made the right call in skipping. I don't think I'll get into this one.
More Alex Cross reviews
review by . October 19, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
This review of Alex Cross is brought to you, much like the movie, by Cadillac: The New Standard Of The World.  It is also brought to you by the letters F and the letter C for completely cliche.  This movie offers nothing original to the genre, the writing is filled with one liners.  The plot and characters seem more like they come from serialized daytime TV dramas than they do from James Patterson.  And the camera work is too stylized for its own good.  I don't …
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Ed ()
Ranked #12
What? You don't know enough about me from the picture? Get a clue! I'm a graduate from the School of Hard Knocks! You can find me around the web as "Trekscribbler" or "Manchops".   … more
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