Alex Cross (2012)
Alex Cross: The Beginning
Life for detective and psychologist Dr. Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) is going well as his wife Maria (Carmen Ejogo) is eight weeks pregnant, whilst his colleagues and friends Tommy (Edward Burns) and Monica (Rachel Nichols) have a secret relationship going on. But then things become complicated as whilst Alex considers switching to a more regular job as an FBI profiler he along with his team find themselves on the trail of sociopathic assassin Michael "The Butcher" Sullivan (Matthew Fox) and when the detectives stop him from completing one of his hits he turns his attention towards them and those close to them.
As I sat down to watch "Alex Cross" I had no expectations or preconceived ideas as I had not read a single review, advertising blurb or synopsis. The only thing I knew about "Alex Cross" is that Morgan Freeman had vacated the role he had played twice and Tyler Perry had been brought in. Unfortunately having no expectations doesn't help in making "Alex Cross" a good movie as it is an incredibly ordinary one which as my title suggests takes us back to the beginning, working as an introduction to Alex Cross, the man with an eye for the smallest of details.
How ordinary "Alex Cross" is, is easy to spot with a routine story involving a psycho killer who ends up targeting the detectives when they end up ruining his plans. Of course a movie won't work on something so ordinary so of course we have super sleuth Alex who spots the smallest of clues and would give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money when it comes to picking up on the smallest of details. And on top of that we have the violent and graphic nature with scenes suggesting torture, fingers being cut off and arms being broken. And it is fair to say the ridiculous intelligence of Cross combined with the graphic nature has a certain amount of power even if it is all incredibly far fetched. Although I have to say that Rob Cohen's decision to go shaky cam when it came to the inevitable big climax is a huge let down as it makes things incoherent.
But having watched "Alex Cross" twice now I have come to the decision that "Alex Cross" became less about the story and more about two performances starting with Tyler Perry as Alex Cross. Perry is certainly outside of his comfort zone in this straight role and whilst he does a good job his light heartedness is a little too much for me. And then there is Matthew Fox who certainly delivers psycho both in look and mannerisms as Sullivan. But like the movie it is an over the top performance which will probably appeal to those who like full on entertaining but probably not those who want realism and depth.
What this all boils down to is that "Alex Cross" has been made with a very specific audience in mind, those who like big action and big characters. But for anyone else who is looking for subtlety, depth and realism as well as intelligence it comes up extremely short.
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