I haven’t read James Patterson’s books based around the character Alex Cross and I’m not sure how closely linked this film is to them. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. What I do know is that this film is one hundred minutes of my life I’ll never get back.
Where to start. Alex Cross is directed by Rob Cohen (The Fast and The Furious) and features Tyler Perry as psychologist cop, Alex Cross. Yes, I know I didn’t say stars. It also features Matthew Fox, he of Lost as the baddie and Edward Burns as Cross’ cop partner. Piacasso (Fox) goes on a killing spree and Cross and his partner have to figure out what’s going on and try to stop him from getting to his next victim.
Ten minutes into the film, it’s already apparent the story is flat. The characters are two dimensional and hard to relate to, it’s hard to feel anything, good or bad, for any of them. There’s not enough back story for us to empathise with the lead character, despite getting good news in the opening scenes, there’s nothing here to bring you into the story. The first segment of the film also moves from Cross’ home life to that of the bad guys but we’re not given how the two are related at all. It all just leaves the viewer cold. Plus, for all the detective work going on, Cross comes across as a complete know it all, again without the likeability factor that Gil Grissom has in CSI.
There are, at times, when it’s obvious that the cop pairing are trying to work jokes and a certain amount of humour that the Lethal Weapon films possessed. Here, they just don’t work as we don’t have a loveable Riggs character. It’s hard to know whether to pick fault at the direction of the film or place the blame solely on the script. There are some well-shot scenes, one in particular in a disused movie theatre stands out.
I made myself sit through the film and the longer it went on, the more it reminded me of mid week nights in the early nineties when you’d head down to the video shop and all the good movies were gone. You’d pick a random movie, occasionally striking gold but more often than not getting a complete dud. This was one of them.
I’m not sure how movies like this get financed when there are so many more up and coming talented film directors and script writers that could do a lot more with less of a budget. Avoid.