Movie Review: Alex Cross
by Ruben Miranda-Juarez
WARNING: Do not see this movie if you like the Madea movies like I do…
Alex Cross, based on James Patterson’s various books with a character of the same name, is a crime thriller-mystery film starring Tyler Perry as Alex Cross, Edward Burns as sidekick, Tommy Kane, and Matthew Fox as Picasso as the hired hit man. Tyler Perry takes on his first role outside of his previous films which are usually directed and written by himself and attempts to fill the shoes of Morgan Freeman who played Alex Cross in Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider.
The film is essentially another book adaptation gone wrong. Tyler Perry as well the other cast member’s are extremely out of place with the exception of Matthew Fox who does an excellent job playing a sociopath for hire. The character of Alex Cross is a family man, a brilliant psychologist, and an even better detective, but you could not see that in the film mainly due to Tyler Perry’s portrayal. I kept seeing him dressed as Madea every time he was on screen. His movements were forced and so were his emotions in each scene. This is most apparent in the scene where his pregnant wife dies—the forced focus on him made me forget his wife was even pregnant; this, unfortunately, made me feel less sorry for him.
Minor details which were altered also left me uneasy. They changed the setting from Washington D.C to Detroit; in the novel, it is important to note he is deeply rooted in the Washington D.C area. James Patterson’s Alex Cross lives in the most dangerous part of the D.C area which is utterly significant to his character’s development. Here’s a man who came from nothing, living in one of the most dangerous cities in the country, who ultimately becomes a one of the renowned criminal profilers.
There is nothing good to say about this movie besides Matthew Fox’s portrayal of a deranged man, passionate in murdering people and making it look easy. If Idris Elba, Denzel Washington, or even Will Smith would have taken the role with say Christopher Nolan directing this film it would receive critical praise. But instead, you get a film with Tyler Perry in it and an entire cast of bland, stale B-List nobodies. Also, if the director would have cut out the classical music from the background which caused several audience members to fall asleep, that would have helped. Also, if the film had added a grittier storyline where we got to know Alex Cross as a person—this film would have done better even with Tyler Perry.
About the Writer: Ruben is currently a sophomore English major from Cicero near the south side of Chicago. He has been writing since high school and has experimented with various forms. He describes writing as a “deep sigh of relief” every time he can put his pen to paper. In Ruben’s spare time, he writes rhymes for fun and skateboards.