Alex Cross

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.


  1. Good review. This movie blew, and having Tyler Perry in your lead role not playing Madea is the icing on the cake for that.

  2. Just finished watching it against my better judgment...I don't watch Madea movies since I've already seen Big Momma's House and The Nutty Professor. Still, I was hoping that with Ed Burns, Jean Reno and Matthew Fox the movie might be alright. Sadly, Tyler Perry is NO Morgan Freeman and cannot bring a strong believability to this role. Burns tries, but his lines bounce off of the concrete Perry, leaving the supposedly life-long friendship completely unbelievable. The villain is the coolest person in this movie and we want him to get caught or get shot, but there is no way THIS Alex Cross could have taken THIS villain in hand-to-hand combat. Didn't the writer(s) remember how the villain was introduced in a cage fight? Alex Cross should have pulled a "Law Abiding Citizen" move on this villain, turning his own paralytic drug against him. Then and only then would the Cross character have had the physical upper hand. Too bad Patterson thinks that Perry is the physical incarnation of his Cross character. Unless Tyler Perry gets better at real acting, the next Alex Cross movie is destined for mediocrity. I was hoping for better. I shouldn't have.

  3. Just finished watching this movie against my better judgment. Having seen Big Momma's House and The Nutty Professor, I steer clear of the Madea movies and, therefore, Tyler Perry's work. Still, I figured that they wouldn't let someone slaughter a character played previously by Morgan Freeman. Oops. I could not get into the Alex Cross character in this movie. For me, it was kind of like trying to accept Leonardo DiCaprio as a tough guy in The Departed. You can just tell when people have never been in a real fight in their lives. This Alex Cross had no chance in a hand to hand fight with this villain. Did the writer(s) forget that they'd introduced the bad guy as a cage fighting menace or that he cauterized his own gunshot wound with a handheld mini blowtorch? Perry is tall and stocky, so he might be physically imposing, but then he opens his mouth and delivers clich├ęd tough talk that just doesn't come out right. Maybe Wesley Snipes could have done better or, hey, Ice Cube or Ice T - someone with a snarl that is believable. Unfortunately, Tyler Perry does not pull this off well. It is equally unfortunate that James Patterson sees Perry as the physical embodiment of Alex Cross. Either Tyler Perry is going to need acting lessons or he's going to have to "butch up" if we are going to get another Alex Cross worth watching. On the upside, the Picasso character was cool and well-played and Ed Burns still has the ability to play a believable cop...just not the buddy of this wooden version of Alex Cross. I had hoped for more. I shouldn't have.