ALEX CROSS movie review

by Alexandra McClain
Alex Cross is a film based on the book Cross written by James Patterson. Patterson has written several books on the character in one of the best-selling detective novel series. Alex Cross is an edition to the series of films which began with Morgan Freeman as Detective Alex Cross in previous films Kiss the Girls (1997) and Along Came a Spider (2001). However, taking on the role of Alex Cross this time is Tyler Perry. Most people have come accustomed to Perry playing a more comedic role as the all too familiar Madea. Conversely in his latest role Perry steps into something a bit more dramatic.
The film turns out to be quite the elaborate cat and mouse chase. In the end, the chase seems to be more of a thrill than the actual catch at the movie’s conclusion. To say the least Matthew Fox steals the show from Perry, as a psychotic killer nicknamed “Picasso” in the movie for his crazed drawing of the victims he’s tortured. Fox truly plays a convincing role, down to the deranged twitch of the neck and eye every time he inflicts pain on someone.
It seems the film was more engrossed in getting inside the head of the killer than allowing the audience to actually connect more with the main character Alex Cross. There is some glimpse into the family life of Cross, but not enough to fully connect and sympathize when a love one is taken from him. Even as things began to get personal for Perry’s character, his portrayal still seemed to be lacking something compelling. It would’ve been nice to see a crazed look in his eyes or have his character’s drive for revenge take him into a more dark side. This isn’t what Perry gave in his performance. The film tries to take things there, but falls flat in the attempt. The villain seemed more enthused about catching the hero, than the hero did about catching the villain.
The movie does well with pacing of events and having to condense a 400 page novel, but towards the end things feel a bit rushed. The most memorable scene comes at the end where Fox and Perry’s characters face off in an intense and expected fight scene. Then just when you think it’s over, it’s not; the conclusion of the movie may throw some viewers for a disappointing loop.
When we’ve all grown accustomed to the supposed “hero saving the day”, this movie proves the bad guy can actually save the film itself. If it weren’t for Fox’s committed role, the movie might not have been as interesting to watch. Ultimately it seems Fox’s character outshines Perry’s performance as Cross.
Considering Alex Cross was once played by a respected Hollywood veteran, Perry had some tough shoes to fill. Although it was nice to see Perry try something different, it won’t be one of his more memorable roles.