Alex Cross is a change of pace for actor Tyler Perry
Starring Tyler Perry, Edward Burns, and Matthew Fox. Rated PG.
Alex Cross is a big-screen revamp featuring a character first seen in 1997’s Kiss the Girls and 2001’s Along Came a Spider. Based on a detective featured in James Patterson’s series of bestselling novels, Cross specializes in tracking down serial killers. Originally starring Morgan Freeman, this latest version features Tyler Perry in the title role.
That’s right. The same guy who puts on a dress to play a trash-talking grandma in the tiresome Madea series. Talk about a change of pace. This time, Perry gets to play it so straight you’d never guess he’s an expert at putting on support hose. His character is a dedicated cop with the kind of psychological training that allows him keen insight into the human mind. As his partner (played winningly by Edward Burns) puts it: “We’re dealing with a man who can tell if you’ve had scrambled eggs from 50 feet away.”
As our story develops, Cross is working overtime to catch a serial killer dubbed Picasso (Matthew Fox). The killer—who drugs and tortures his female victims before murdering them—leaves sketches behind at the crime scene. When he becomes obsessed with Cross, the cop’s family is put in jeopardy.
Despite a convoluted plot, director Rob Cohen moves things along. And Fox’s portrayal of a psycho killer who enjoys taunting his victims is beyond creepy. But there isn’t a lot here in the way of surprises. The biggest revelation is how convincing Perry is as Cross. In fact, he’s pretty much the best thing about this movie, and that includes a supporting cast featuring the likes of Cicely Tyson and Jean Reno.
This is obviously meant to be the first in a series featuring Perry as an action hero. If things work out, he may be putting Madea’s dress in the closet a little longer. That’s reason enough to see this movie.
Watch the trailer for Alex Cross.