At the Movies: Alex Cross

“Alex Cross” is a pretty uninspired title for a movie. But that’s OK, because it’s a pretty uninspired movie.

One doesn’t normally associate Tyler Perry with action movies; he’s usually associated with movies and TV shows with his name in front of the title. Many of them feature him in a dress playing a southern grandmother. You can see why he might be looking for a change.

Tyler plays the title character, a Detroit homicide detective with Sherlock Holmes-like powers of deduction.  Alex Ross began his fictional career in a series of books by James Patterson. He was previously portrayed in the movies by Morgan Freeman in “Kiss the Girls” and “Along Came a Spider.” If you didn’t make the connection between those films and this one, you are not alone.

As the story begins, Cross is considering a move to Washington, D.C., to join the F.B.I. His longtime friend and partner Tommy Kane (Edward Burns) isn’t crazy about the idea and neither is his wife Maria (Carmen Ejogo), who doesn’t want to upend her career.

But before Cross can pack any bags, he’s got one last case to solve. A professional assassin known as Picasso (Matthew Fox) has come to town to take out businessman Leon Mercier (Jean Reno). When Picasso crosses paths with Cross, things get bloody. And personal.

“Alex Cross” is an OK action-thriller but not worth paying movie ticket prices. The family bits are trite and the police bits are formula. The fight scene at the end is poorly shot, although the setting in an abandoned theater is interesting.

While Tyler Perry does a decent job as an action lead, the real star of the show is the villain. Matthew Fox is unrecognizable from his “Lost” years and seems to be really relishing playing a sadistic killer for hire. I’d go see another movie about Picasso, not so much Alex Cross.

 

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