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    December 26, 2012


    James Patterson’s most beloved fictional character of all time, Alex Cross is partly ruined by a director whose name spells out as Rob Cohen. He is stuffing more of his usual dumb actions into his new film, which happens to be the third film feature about the detective. Popular African-American actor, Tyler Perry replaces Morgan Freeman as the titular character, who did a splendid job portraying the character in two predecessor film instalments “Kiss the Girls” and “Along Came a Spider.” I am neither a Perry’s fan nor familiar with his works, but the fact that Perry is stepping outside of his comfort zone of cross-dressing Madea, that is an intriguing move. You know this is going to be bad but how bad is Alex Cross anyway?

    Genre: Crime/Thriller/Action/Adventure
    Classification: 18
    Release Date: 6 December 2012
    Running Time: 101 minutes
    Distributor: Summit Entertainment (GSC Movies)
    Director: Rob Cohen
    Screenplay: Marc Moss and Kerry Williamson; based on "Cross" by James Patterson
    Starring: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Edward Burns, Rachel Nichols, Jean Reno

    Plot: Alex Cross follows the young homicide detective/psychologist (Tyler Perry), from the worldwide best-selling novels by James Patterson, as he meets his match in a serial killer (Matthew Fox). The two face off in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, but when the mission gets personal, Cross is pushed to the edge of his moral and psychological limits in this taut and exciting action thriller.

    Loosely based on James Patterson’s 12th novel of the PhD forensic psychologist, “Cross”, Alex Cross (Tyler Perry) and Tommy Kane (Edward Burns) are investigating a torturous homicide of a businesswoman Fan Yau (Stephanie Jacobsen) in a high-end area of Detroit. Hunched with the Sherlockian gift, Cross walked around the scene of sadistic murder to find out what really happened. Then, he finds a sketch left behind by the ruthless assassin who goes only by the name Picasso (Matthew Fox), deducing that the sketch is a clue for his next victim. In a race against time, Cross and Kane will have to do everything to stop Picasso from more killing spree. Unfortunately, there is a bigger price they have to pay a heavy price if they continue to pursue the psychopath.

    Rob Cohen’s madness continues in this one. This Alex Cross movies deserved a better director to handle, and probably need a better writing team too. Foremost, the build-up and expository plot for this movie are very weak, disjointed and oddly dark. Audience is kept from dark about the true nature of the killing, rather leaving them into a murky territory all the time. There is not much motivation going on. One in the case of the unexplained blood-depository actions by the villain named Picasso who has zero back stories to tell, simply because he is a villain and it seems proper we do not need to care about his pain. Then, there is Cross whom loves to fire an absolute blank of emotional avenge.

    Without a proper enlighten of human side of the story and a strong plot, there are also many unconnected lines seem to be left out by the writers. That is called lazy writings. We are not even sure why the first victim’s education background is so important if in the end, nothing is make to take back that reference. We are also wondering why this pretty detective got tortured and no emotional story to back this up. Then, there is a leniency to put our epitome hero in a vengeance after the death, but that is also conveniently emptied later. These three along with other questions are the product of so called lazy writings, jeopardizing the movie with unexplained and unaccounted plot-holes.

    The only pluses in this 101-minute cat-and-mouse thriller are the two leads. Tyler Perry is surprisingly good in the titular role, providing some hard-boiled attitude and intuition persona. He seems comfortable doing something other than the Madea-franchise, which is a good thing. Then, on the opposite role is the skinny Matthew Fox as the villain Picasso. Fox puts in a psychopathic role, a man who cannot be reasoned with and a freak who is expert in termination.

    Still, Alex Cross is poor in conviction too. Some of the set-pieces are poorly done, greying alike some of the grittier TV-production but having unconvinced action sequences. Logic is also out of place. Even when somebody asks you to put your mind as the villain, train is probably your last answer. Of course, the writers only care to put so much intellectual and senses on Alex Cross that it ends up been cheesy and ridiculous. The third act, set-up by a coincident is also disappointing. Shaky cameras are all over and the action piece is bad and most disappointing that I have seen this year.

    In the end, Alex Cross is a disappointing and unfair representation of James Patterson’s beloved crime novel series as echoed by the ridiculous and lazy writings, plot-holes and lack of originality, with bad convictions and productions

    Story: 1.5
    Casts: 3.0
    Cinematography: 2.5
    Effects: 2.0
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 8.4/20.0

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