“Alex Cross” is the funniest movie of the year, and here’s the best part: It’s not even a comedy.
What it is, instead, is a laughably bad “thriller” with so many forehead-slapping moments of implausibility and ridiculous twists that it’s a wonder James Patterson didn’t ask to have his name removed from the film. Based on Patterson’s book “Cross,” sort of a prequel or a reboot to the Alex Cross stories told in “Kiss the Girls” and “Along Came a Spider,” the movie has leaps of logic even the most forgiving movie fan couldn’t overlook.
Tyler Perry, wearing men’s clothing on the big screen for a change, assumes the role of homicide detective Alex Cross, sort of a modern-day Sherlock Holmes who can walk onto a crime scene and tell you the perpetrator’s every move, instinct and what he had for lunch that day. He’s improbably adept, but that’s not what makes the movie so unbelievable. That would be a ridiculous script that piles stacks of shopworn contrivances on one another and pretends not to notice.
Rob Cohen’s amateurish direction doesn’t help. There is a brawl at the end of the movie that is so sloppily edited that you literally get disoriented. And, although “Alex Cross” is basically a grislier episode of one of those one-hour homicide detective TV shows that run in prime time, the development at this movie’s one-hour mark brings it to an embarrassing, screeching halt.
Up until that point, “Alex Cross” plays like a lesser episode of those shows, with good-guy Cross chasing bad-guy Matthew Fox, or at least what’s left of Fox, considering he looks to have lost about half his body weight for the role. Who knows how Fox’s character slipped through the fingers of Ben Foster, who usually plays these skanky, underfed sadists rather well, but either way, all that Slim Fasting Fox must have done is all for naught on a crap film like “Alex Cross.”
The one thing I will say in the movie’s defense is that the failure of “Alex Cross” has nothing to do with Perry, which is a surprise, considering how lackluster the movies he makes on his own often are. I liked Perry in the role of Alex Cross, but I wish the movie around him weren’t such an idiotic mess.
★ out of ★★★★
Rated PG-13 for surprisingly grisly violence, sexual situations and raw language. 101 minutes, 2012.
Director: Rob Cohen. Starring: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox.
Read more of Jesse Hoheisel’s reviews at thesuperawesomemovieblog.com.