Your appreciation of Alex Cross very much depends upon your level of expectation going in. Based on ‘Cross’, the 12th novel in James Patterson’s detective series, Alex Cross stars Tyler Perry and Lost’s Matthew Fox as the serial killer Picasso. Cross finds himself up against a true master of evasion when he starts to investigate a string of sadistic murders, putting the life of his friends and family in the firing line.
Tyler Perry and Matthew Fox – both miscast – are left stranded by a generic script that throws every crime thriller cliché at the TV screen. Neither performance is particularly bad and Fox should be applauded for channelling a lean, mean Christian Bale in fighting form, but you can’t help think Alex Cross would have fared better in more assured hands. Lively support is offered by Ed Burns and the gorgeous Rachel Nichols, both of whom struggle to break free from the constraints of its crime thriller formula.
There’s plenty of bang for your buck and 101 minutes fly by but it’s nothing that we haven’t seen before. Rob Cohen – known for lightweight action fare – directs this kind of thing in his sleep and there’s a good chance he did, particularly when it comes to the uninspired climax. When two great minds come together in a dismal rooftop fight sequence you know that creation has done one. Alex Cross has surface sheen but little depth, which means kissing the girls and making them cry is the least of his worries. AW