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on October 24, 2012
Saw ALEX CROSS the movie yesterday. Pleasantly surprised by Tyler Perry's dramatic acting, had only seen him in comedic roles, and Matthew Fox did a great job Cross' creepy psychotic nemesis, Picasso. The special effects were impressive and the movie raced along keeping everyone on the edge of their seats until the conclusion, which was an obvious set up for a sequel. Yes, I enjoyed the movie, but as a fan of James Patterson's Cross books from the very first one I was disappointed that some of the main characters, who seem like old friends, were changed: Cross' childhood buddy, Samson, was replaced by "Tommy" a somewhat wimpy white guy played by Edward Burns, and 'Nana Mama", Cross' feisty little old Grandmother, was little but not old and grumpy rather than feisty. In all, the movie felt as if it had taken parts from many of the books and tried to sew 'em together. Fine as a couple of hours entertainment for someone who has not read the books, but didn't work for this long time fan.
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on February 7, 2013
You will not be bored or lose interest in this movie, and Tyler Perry's dramatic acting was very good. However, this Alex Cross isn't exactly the one James Patterson created.

The dialogue failed in many places and the Chief of Police was so corny I was hoping someone would take him out. Some of the characters were cliche'(the Frenchman's hat), but I liked the movie in spite of the sophomoric directing and script.

Tyler Perry will definitely make it as a dramatic actor.
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on October 27, 2012
Straight up: Didn't think Tyler Perry could do drama. But then I thought about the old saying that the best comedians typically grow up enduring the worst kind of abuses, their humor an outgrowth reflection of pain. So I have respect for Perry crossing over to challenge a new stage, likely using that pain to help him become a more complex, non-comedic, character.

This prequel version of a younger Alex Cross gives us his story before joining the FBI. Already a brilliant investigator, he and his team of cops are suddenly thrust into a strange series of murders. Bad enough the bodies are piling up, but these are not your typical victims. Detroit's elite one-percenters are suddenly being hunted by an insidious killer; one who doesn't appreciate being interrupted or distracted from his mission.

Perry was not bad. Nothing quite like the original, but then who could be? Morgan Freeman is, cinematically speaking, a cultural icon exponentially cubed. Still, all things taken into consideration, his rebooted replacement was very decent. Thankfully, the producers didn't go for an MTV type of recast, hiring some slick songster wanting to break into films. For that alone I'm very grateful.

The choice of Matthew Fox was interesting. He's one of those performers that seemingly found his one role. Of course, actors who find that role often learn to detest it, treating it like an albatross hanging from the neck of one's career. Most end up forever boxed. But in this film I found his execution not shabby at all and better than expected; hinting that he has more to offer as a performer. One weakness: I realize that the character's speech impediment was foundational, but thought it limited the performance; if he was going for the Francis Dolarhyde model, then it should've been more pronounced.

Additionally, Picasso isn't a fully constructed character. We don't get to know the person other than the flimsy details as sketched out in the screenplay, making it that much more difficult to engage. Unfortunate. Felt the role was unfinished and could've easily taken on more weight. And speaking of which...

Absolutely loved that Matt bulked up for the film - he looked fantastic!

The direction was adequate for the subject matter, but lacked creativity. Example: When Alex deciphers the hidden clue to the assassin's next target, we don't get to share that "Ah ha!" moment because Director Rob Cohen failed to appreciate the scene as one of us, the audience. We didn't read the script, post storyboards, go thru rehearsal, film, then sit down at the post production edits - for us in the audience it was a new and fresh revelation - and he blew it. A missed opportunity.

Also, I don't appreciate shaky-cam slo-mo with high pass contrast in place of solid fight choreography. If Cohen wanted to showcase CQB skill - showcase the skill. Extraordinarily difficult to screen a battle if it's filmed like the cinematographer dropped acid before the scene commenced; thought we left this kind of cheesy effect back in the 80s.

Again, adequate direction with decent rhythm and solid pacing. And considering this was a Rob Cohen piece, I'm pleased it was adequate. The man is not known for quality.

Overall, decently entertaining with moments of interest and depth. Just wished it had not followed a pre-approved studio template.

Torn between grades. A strong three or a very low four.

Call it a three with hints of a four.

All things considered, and given the end of the film, I'm actually looking forward to another in the series - as long as the producers hire a more skilled director. The franchise and Alex Cross deserves it.
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VINE VOICEon November 7, 2012
In a role made famous by Morgan Freeman, Tyler Perry takes over the character of Alex Cross. "Alex Cross" is based on a character created by writer James Patterson. Freeman played the character previously in "Kiss the Girls" and "Along Came a Spider". This movie is a prequel to the prior films. In "Alex Cross", Cross is a homicide detective, not yet an FBI agent. His career has yet to take off and that is somewhat the premise of the film.

When a hitman's mark is left in a fancy neighborhood, tied to a bed and violently tortured, Cross is awoken in the middle of the night to investigate. There is pressure to clean up the case, being so high profile, but quickly Cross discovers that this will be no ordinary case. He has a keen eye, better than most, and his investigation leads him onto the trail of a single man who had the skill to take out three bodyguards and still eliminate his target.

"Alex Cross" is a mixed bag and will leave a mixed opinion with its audience. The script is interesting. It's always moving and there are many twists and turns. It focuses ample time on the personal connections, as well as the action. For the most part, the actions scenes are well done, especially one that occurs in a high-rise corporate building where they are saddled with the protection of a target in a safe room and are dealing with a skilled assassin. Then there are some scenes that are poorly handled with not just a shaky camera, but a frantically shaky camera. Whether it's the case or not, shaky cameras, in my opinion, are used to cover up actors who aren't good fight actors. This camera was shaking so much, the actors must have been supremely awful.

I couldn't help thinking as the movie played out, that the material was better than the talent on screen and behind the camera. With the exception of Matthew Fox, the acting was lukewarm at best, and even Fox has his moments of over-the-top selling of his craziness. Lines were delivered at times with flair without justification. Perry, at one point, in an effort to be dramatic explaining the suspect they seek to his partners, turns and seems to go off to a distant place. It was disappointing to watch. I had hope that the movie would be better and that Tyler Perry would do well. In fairness, sometimes actors are given a bad rap because the directors don't do enough takes or aren't vigilant enough.

"Alex Cross" is another one of those movies that I wish would have been better. I wanted to love it and the story deserved it. Unfortunately though, the direction of the film was lackluster. Some things that should have been left for the audience to figure out were fleshed out in a short two-minute and highly unrealistic scene. After watching a film that was disappointedly acted and then enduring a hard to watch shaky camera, it was the final straw. It's too bad because "Alex Cross" had a great story and had its moments, but the best part about the movie was its trailer.
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on February 18, 2013
I was already leery of this because of Tyler Perry. I was right! This movie is horrible. The acting is bad, the story is bad and it doesn't even come close to ANY of the Cross books. I'm shocked that Patterson allowed this to be made. The ONLY thing in the movie that is the same as the books are the names of the characters. Otherwise, this thing STINKS! If you've never read any of the books, please do that instead of watching this garbage. If you have read the books, save yourself some heart ache, watch something else!
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on February 8, 2013
This movie was just bad. Predicable, and bland. But the only reason I gave it 2 stars was because Matthew Fox was great. He played an amazing psycho assassin. Halfway thru the movie I wanted Fox (Picasso) to kill Perry (Cross) and get away with it. Perry is just such a bad actor, and Fox is in a different class of acting in comparison. It seems like its Perry's first movie and you can see him over exaggerating every emotional scene. The action sequences were a joke. Seriously would Perry really hold his own in a fight with Fox. Not for a second, Perry looks so out of shape and the acting is just horrible. I've personally never seen other movies by Perry and after this never will, but Fox gave a chilling performance. He is the only thing keeping this movie from being a total disaster. Perry just stinks.
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on February 20, 2016
I am a huge fan of Tyler Perry and I look forward to his new works, both production, directing - as well as his acting. His acting range is wide and seemingly endless with this psychotic-action-tragedy narrative from the great crime writer James Patterson. Perry's role is juxtaposed by an equally villainous role played with psychotic menace and cinematic chills by Matthew Fox (we are looking forward to more from FOX also in the near cinematic future).
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on April 27, 2013
This taut and exciting action thriller finds Cross, the psychologist/detective in a game of cat and mouse when the mission gets personal when his wife is killed. It seems many of Alex Cross's roles involve a personal element such as in "Kiss the Girls" when his niece his one of the kidnapped victims and Morgan Freeman playing Cross must try to put his emotions on hold while tracking down the Romeo killer who holds pretty kills for weeks before killing them.
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on January 17, 2015
I never cared for the Medea series despite Tyler Perry's immense talent. They were just not my "cup of tea". So, I wasn't too optimistic about this film. Mr. Perry is an amazing actor and I was pleasantly delighted to see he can hold his own in my favorite action, shoot-'em-up-type detective dramas. I thought, no actor can fill Morgan Freeman's shoes in playing this character, but Mr. Perry proved me wrong. I hope there will be more films in the Cross series which star Mr. Perry and Mr. Burns. In the books, Nana Mama is not as "gruff" as in this film, and I wished her character had been just a teeny bit softer. Edward Burns did a great job in his performance of Alex's parter and long time friend. The talented Giancarlo Esposito had a great role as a "not too bad guy".
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on January 9, 2013
Tyler Perry as it turns out, is no Morgan Freeman. But in his defense, Morgan Freeman couldn't have made this garbage heap of a "film" any better. In fact Tyler Perry, in an unusual display of restraint on his part, is the best thing about this movie. When Tyler Perry is the best part of your movie... you have problems.

Where to begin... The script is an incoherent mess! Alex Cross is a detective, a doctor, and a brilliant mind. How do we know this? We are told. Repeatedly. One character even goes out of his way several times to call him "Detective Doctor Cross". But the only actual detective work we see him do, is to decipher how On-star works, and deduce that a drawing the bad guy left at a murder scene is in actuality a mad fold-in revealing his next target. He is followed around by his best friend, whose only purpose in the film seems to be to constantly spout "we've been best friends all our lives." He does NOTHING else in the movie. Also in this movie is Alex Cross's wife, who we are told is pregnant, and whose sole purpose is to get killed, and provide motivation for our hero. ALSO starring is Rachael Nicols, playing the same character she did in Criminal Minds (and who was thankfully written out) who is apparently banging Cross's best friend. This is, according to several characters, against the rules. Why? No one says, but then no one really seems to care anyhow. She'll be dead twenty minutes in anyway so Cross's best friend also gets his motivation to... tell Cross they've been best friends all their lives. The script constantly "tells" us everything. Characters aren't developed, we are only "told" who they are supposed to be. The story is completely incoherent, making one illogical leap after another. At one point the "heroes" break into a jail, knock out and tie up a policeman, steal evidence, and give it to a man they know to be a murderer, ensuring he will get off scott free, just to get the name of the drug dealer to the man they are after. And then there is Cross's nana, who could have been Madea if Perry had decided he wanted a second role, but instead went to an actress with even less talent.

This brings me to to the acting. Tyler Perry actually tries to make his character believable, but he can do little with terrible dialogue, and brain dead decisions given to his character. NO ONE ELSE is even trying. His best friend says his lines, and checks out. Rachel Nichols essentially plays the same character she did on Criminal Minds, and then dies. The sarcastic doctor from scrubs plays.... the sarcastic doctor from scrubs in a police uniform. And Jean Reno sits around looking embarrassed wondering where his career went.

It's a shame there isn't a zero star option, because that's what this movie deserves. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, based on a novel by James Patterson, and directed by Rob "Stealth xXx Mummy 3" Cohen, it was bound to be terrible, but this feels like they really went out of there way to suck. I was never a big fan of T. Perry's work, but after watching this movie I genuinely felt sorry for him. No actor should have to result to this, even if it's just for a paycheck.
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