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Alex Cross - Film Review

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by Madhumita Thakur (subscribe)
Freelance writer & journalist in the fields of lifestyle, technology and entertainment.
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A crime thriller by Rob Cohen
This film is based on the best-selling novel "Cross" by James Patterson. It revolves around two central characters - one a highly intuitive homicide detective and other an equally well detailed but criminal mastermind serial killer, and their fierce battle to outdo each other.

Alex Cross (US Release Poster)
Alex Cross (US Release Poster)

Review: The movie opens up with a chase sequence which takes you through a dimly lit narrow tunnel and couple of gunshot sounds aptly set up the mood and expectations for an action thriller story right in the beginning. While the plot and premise of Alex Cross is fairly intriguing, it does resemble many other action thriller movies in quite a few sequences.

For most part of the movie Tyler Perry looks nearly convincing in his powerful portrayal of Alex Cross, an ambitious and agile detective, who has an uncanny capability to see through the crime scenes. It's like he is almost able to sniff around and get into the minds of the criminals. This is beautifully pictured in the scene where he is called upon to investigate the first murder (of Fan Yau) committed by Matthew Fox, who plays the intimidating and gruesome murderer, Picasso, with streaks of a psychopath.

Matthew Fox as Picasso (Source: IMDb)
Matthew Fox as Picasso (Source: IMDb)

A strong and an obvious comparison of Perry with Morgan Freeman comes into mind as soon as you start watching this movie, especially if you have seen Freeman essaying Cross's character in his earlier films like Along Came A Spider and Kiss the Girls.

Freeman with his immaculate performance and crisp emotions gives an extra edge to the character which one misses while watching Perry. During few scenes in the movie where Perry has to express his rage, anguish and frustrations at Fox, you do feel and see the effort on his face and secretly wish that Rob Cohen could have done a re-take of those scenes. The camaraderie between Cross and his fellow colleague Kane (Edward Burns) is limited to few lines of dialogue and fails to show any chemistry. However the secret romance kindling between Kane and Monica (Rachel Nichols) does provide a quick breather.

Directed by Rob Cohen (the man who gave us hits like The Fast and The Furious and Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story) this movie tries to showcase the battle prowess of modern times with the glorious display of hi-tech gadgets, sleek guns and twisted personality of the main antagonist.

Like a typical Hollywood movie, Alex Cross also gathers some momentum when the protagonist suffers personal loss inflicted by the bad guy. Cross's determination and zeal to capture Picasso goes on crest when his pregnant wife is shot down by Picasso, who does so only to make Cross realise that he can't mess up with him. The story takes several turns with some chases, some investigations and lots of hide-and-seek moments. The ending is quite predictable with Cross finally nailing down Picasso and completing his revenge, but just when you think it's over, the movie takes you into a sort of beach resort where the actual mastermind behind Picasso and his deadly acts is revealed.

The background score is good, not great. Action sequences also fall in run-of-the-mill category, except at few points in the movie where Fox has been shown torturing and murdering his victims.

Overall Verdict: Watch this movie not for Perry, not for the script but for Fox, who manages to inject pain and fear in your mind with this menacing looks, lanky stature, bald head and rage which manifests itself into gory acts of inflicting pain upon his victims.

Cast: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Edward Burns, Rachel Nichols, Cicely Tyson, Carmen Ejogo, Giancarlo Esposito, John C. McGinley and Jean Reno
Direction: Rob Cohen
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Duration: 101 minutes
Rating: M
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*Madhumita Thakur was invited as a guest
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Why? If you love action, crime and thriller stories
Where: At a theater near you
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