October 22, 2012

Critical Capsule: Alex Cross

I have never read any of James Patterson's Alex Cross novels. It is not that I think they would be bad reads or anything, I just find I have less and less time to read these days and I tend towards more science fiction and horror tales. The movies are a different story, a well crafted thriller can make for a a good time in the theater. Unfortunately, the Cross adaptation, Alex Cross, is not a good time. Quite far from it. It is a dull, lifeless affair that comes across as more silly and theatrical than realistic and thrilling.

The story finds Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) working as a detective in Detroit and mulling over an offer to move to DC and work with the FBI. He and his partner (Edward Burns) are then called into a murder involving a tortured woman and the indication that a sociopathic individual is behind it. So, the investigation begins and Cross becomes a target along the way. Everything builds to the inevitable conclusion where the truth is revealed. Blah, blah, blah.

This is purely paint by numbers. Heroic good guy willing to go all the way, a crazy bad guy who is deadly and intelligent, a personal involvement to push our hero, and a confrontation where only one can walk away. Nothing new here.

I found the screenplay to be weak, filled some atrocious dialogue that may look great on the page but lands with a thud when delivered by actors. The conclusion feels tacked on, as of they lost their way at some point and had to get back to why the murders started in the first place. The performances are not all that good, I just did not believe Tyler Perry for one minute, he always looked like he was acting. I will give Matthew Fox a pass, I liked his crazy killer. The problem is that he belonged in a better movie where his craziness was treated better.

Alex Cross is a flashy movie that goes nowhere fast. It is silly, simplistic, and even a bit predictable. It is instantly forgettable. You would be better off revisiting the Cross films starring Morgan Freeman.

Not Recommended.

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