Alex Cross, with Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Edward Burns & Jean Reno. Rob Cohen, director. Wow, I didn’t know this was going to be a maudlin marathon. I’d seen Matthew Fox on a late night talk show & was duly impressed by his new & improved physique & go get ’em attitude. Perry, I’ve seen in passing in something or the other, getting the impression of an interesting actor. My confidence that this was to be an good film, got me into this jam.
Don’t get me wrong. Perry & Fox were both superb(ish). It was the content that I found to be unbalanced. I’m all for giving a story a human angle. Something for the ladies, something to explain motivations & concerns. Sentimentality. Too much of it & it’s dripping over the top of the pancake, pooling around the bottom & running off the plate onto the table.
There was the Cross (Perry) character, explaining the horrors of life to his young daughter. For 20 minutes of film time. There was Cross, explaining the horrors of life to his mother, wonderfully played by the estimable Cicely Tyson. For 20 minutes. There was Cross, explaining the horrors of life to his wife. For 20 minutes. There was Cross gruffly having personal time, explaining upcoming decisions to his police detective partner, played by Edward Burns, for 20 minutes. Get my drift? A Lot of explainin’ to do. I may be exaggerating the actual collective minutes of character building, but it goes on endlessly. Perry is a good actor & portrays the “explainer” well.
I question the attraction level of the script – on any audience size – & lay my criticism at the feet of the writers. It’s really obvious. How else would I have picked up on it?
Rush job, find that clever criminal before he does more harm – movies, can be acceptable. But only if they’re done well. I want to say, but have been hesitant to draw a line, that the content of this film was choreographed expressly to draw in an African-American audience, specifically female. It was a cheap shot, making a film filled with trivia, aimed at black women, many of whom are known to require a lot of feel good, I want to marry that kind of man – BS.
The enemy of the “sensitive man” (Cross) is played, quite adeptly by Fox. My sympathies were for Fox, as an actor, trying against all odds, to keep this movie from being a total loss. He achieved it, but at what cost to him & dignity in general. His effort resulted in a character with way too many face twitches, insanity a little too apparent. What other choice did he have? Fox is a wonderful actor, known for his anchor character on the TV series Lost. A previous raison d’etre for many of us (nerdlings) in the US.
The real focus, especially for those of us who watched that series, Fox pared down his body to something wiry, mean & lean. He looked great. Actually, he’s the star of the film. Not Perry, the main character. Fox has been out of the spotlight for a couple of years, which is really a disaster for anyone wanting to keep up the momentum to -movie star status-. So, while he’s a focus, his star has dimmed to the level of Perry. Whose work is limited, even if his talent is more than adequate.
I do hope that I haven’t been too cruel with this film. I’m sure the ladies will like it, at least. Women who don’t mind a little action on the side.
I recommend this film for viewing. It’s not the best effort, but it has two great actors & enough bangs & pops to keep the interest.