I’m certainly not the biggest Tyler Perry fan in the world. So, when Ellen said she wanted to see Alex Cross, I have to admit to some morbid curiosity over how on earth Tyler Perry of all people could ever take over a role from the great Morgan Freeman. 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” (quotes added for sarcastic effect) 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 the easiest target I guess. If I turned this in for my final in my BEGINNERS screenwriting class, I would have flunked hard! 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. Yeah. 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. I guess Hollywood felt the “film” (once again, sarcastic effect) didn’t have enough white. Also in this movie is Alex Cross’s wife, who we are told is pregnant, whose sole purpose is to get killed, and provide motivation for our hero, and Agent Sever (Criminal Minds joke there) 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 that they are so blatantly breaking the rules anyhow. She’ll be dead twenty minutes in anyway, only in the movie to provide motivation for Cross and Best Friend anyhow. And I guess to up the white quotient a little more. 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 Medea if Perry had decided he wanted a second role, but instead went to an actress with even less talent.
Which 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.
With all this, maybe a descent director could have salvaged SOMETHING. But instead, they hired Rob “Stealth, xXx, The Mummy 3” Cohen. Ask for #@%^, and ye shale receive.
If you were hoping this movie would be good, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Save your money and go see James Bond when it comes out.
On a side note, I saw the preview for the next Twilight, and I’m left wondering what third rate video game animators they hired to do the awful special effects.