Director: Rob Cohen (2012)
Starring: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Edward Burns
Find it: IMDB
The same Alex Cross, of course, as portrayed by Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. Little game for you. Pretend you didn't know that Alex Cross (the film, not the character) existed. Now, forearmed with the knowledge that Morgan Freeman made two Alex Cross films, pick yourself an actor who you think could play the character in a reboot or prequel of the series. The answer, of course, should be 'anyone but Tyler Perry.'
Alex Constipated, more like. While Perry is not nearly as awful as I had imagined he'd be, his Cross is a thoroughly boring, unlikeable character, lumbering about without wit, charisma or any sense of energy. Factor in an unbelievably misjudged ending which makes Cross look like a corrupt, vicious, nasty bastard, and you have a tremendous waste of one of crime fiction's most famous characters. His fellow cops aren't much better either, with John C. McGinley wasted in a role which doesn't have him shout at anyone or call that Scrubs asshole an, uh, asshole. Thank fuck for Matthew Fox.
Wait, what? Matthew Fox, who was the wettest resident on an island full of drips, emerges as Alex Cross's saving grace. Lovers of Jackface should enjoy his psychopathic Picasso (actually his name) who gurns, snarls and bulges his way through the whole film. Playing an insane MMA assassin, Fox is the only convincing reason to see Alex Cross. His ridiculous level of physicality renders the final fight between himself and Cross a joke (there's no way Cross could ever win) but by then, you'll be used to the stupidity. Alex Cross is effectively Madea playing Morgan Freeman fighting a jacked up Craig David for ninety minutes.
Something for the ladies.
Few will be surprised to know that Tyler Perry is no Morgan Freeman. Everyone, however, should be surprised by how excellent Matthew Fox is in this film. Whether that is sufficient reason to watch Alex Cross remains to be seen, but heck, at least there is a reason, however flimsy.