Alex Cross screened after WW press deadlines, and this week's paper instead ran a Tyler Perry/James Patterson hack-off. But our intrepid critic has since viewed the filmâand take his review as your warning.
Critic's Grade: D-
Kiss the Girls
Along Came A Spider
Admittedly, I went into this with expectations buried near the Earthâs core, but I like to think Iâm fairly open-minded and that I give each movie a chance. But Alex Cross, directed by schlock peddler Rob Cohen (xXx, The Fast and the Furious), wasnât even bad enough to enjoy ironically. Itâs the worst kind of Hollywood product: middling, forgettable and kind of sad, especially because everyone involved really seems to be giving it the old college try.
My enjoyment atrophied almost right away, as the movie opened with an incredibly bland foot chase. Actually, thatâs a lieâI gave up when I saw the tagline on the poster: âDonât ever cross Alex Cross.â Even by most movie marketing standards, thatâs just lame.
After that opening chase, Detective Dr. Cross (as heâs awkwardly referred to throughout the film) hangs with his family. Heâs saintly, of course, making sure to spend quality time with his kids. But thereâs a psycho killer on the loose, one Cross has to track down using his astonishing mind powersâhe can get inside the mind of killers. The biggest unintentional laugh in the movie comes when Ed Burns (as Perryâs partner and best buddy) yells at Cross to âget inside his head!â
Matthew Fox plays the killer, who looks as if he could use a cheeseburger or two. Heâs seriously gaunt. If he lost the weight in some attempt at method acting, then itâs even more of a shame, because this is one spectacularly awful performance. Fox distills every psychopathic villain from the last 20 years of cinema and reduces it all to twitches, bug-eyed stares and overly mannered pauses with every line reading. Like this entire movie, heâs really trying, which makes the failure that much harder to witness.
Youâd think Alex Cross would have us begging for the return of Freeman in the lead role, because Perry is to Freeman as Coyote is to Road Runner: He just canât win. But no, itâs really just best to forget this franchise exists at all.