I tried to be engaged, cause I binged on James Patterson’s novels ( not the Alex Cross’s series though) two summers ago, remembering how I finished a novel in two days. Unfortunately, this film was no way close to how captivating those novels were. The story was not half bad, but the Tyler Perry inside Alex Cross was. I was not sure if he was a professor or a detective most of the time, and if I didn’t turn on subtitles ( I always do, so I know exactly what’s in the script), he was mumbling gibberish and couldn’t keep a straight face on. Was this film debuting a new movie genre: comedy thriller?! I mean, the Butcher of Siglio (Matthew Fox – LOST: TV series ) was menacing. He loved pains! a lot of pains, on himself and others. Take some Advil, dude!
I think this film should be renamed with the pseudo-name given to the serial killer, i.e., Picasso, or his chosen insignia, The Butcher feat. Alex Cross. That would have been more appropriate.
My focus had only been on Fox: shaved head, bones and chiseled muscle. He sounded like he was biting his tongue while he spoke, and sometimes, twitching like a malfunction robot possibly during some muscle spasm. Other than inflicting pains, self and others, he drew contorted figures mimicking masterwork of Picasso. And if you were smart enough to fold one of them, it would give you a clue of his next targeted victim. How ingenious, and talented. Those artistic people who kills, Eh! Curiously, he was stylish, worn slim-fitted suit, drove an immaculate polished Cadillac with all the gadgets, and yet his home was a disastrous shrine with his drawings, and newspaper clippings. One that he yelled at was that of three detectives: Alex Cross, Thomas Kane(Edward Burns), and Monica Ashe(Rachel Nichols). He was so angry! Talking about one real lean mean machine.
Oh ya, the story. He got $3,000,000 wired money and he would go out and kill a bunch of executives (hence like a GQ model sometimes to mix-in). Since he was a sadist (not sure that induces a sexual euphoria?), he drugged his victims (all women) keeping them conscious but immobile, while cutting all their fingers off, i.e., victim died of pain and later shock. Honestly, I doubt such a killer exists, cause there got to be some payoff or joy doing what he did. Serial killers feed on dopamine just like every other addicts. Here, there was no dopamine at all: blank expression all the time. Anyhow, I still applauded Fox’s efforts taking his role so seriously.
On the other hand, Perry and Burns were a joke. In hindsight, I think Burns was trying hard to lose his Manhattan upper-class image to fit the role of a Detroit detective using a different tone of voice, and demeanour, but it didn’t work. He was loud and told jokes that a’int funny, man! Sorry, he is a rom-com actor. Hence, while they were in the SUV, I thought they were having an affair, LOL!
The worst scene in any super-cop films was when Cross’s wife was killed. (Spoiler, sorry! I must) Picasso conveniently found an empty building that was straight across the fancy restaurant Cross and his wife dined. Perhaps, it was trying to break the stereotype that a cop’s wife was not stressed out that her husband could die any day, or simply it was poor writing: Maria(Carmen Ejogo) did not want Alex to take a higher paid deskjob at the FBI, in DC, cause her kids loved the public school in Detroit! HELLO?! ( I thought Detroit had one of the worst high school graduation stats?) This wasn’t the worst. Alex was on the phone with Picasso for good 5 minutes, when his sniper gun was pointing at Cross’s chest. A bullet in a guy’s heart, that’s hardly torture nor painful, was it? So instead, another scenario was created; Maria got their table at the sidewalk patio, how convenient again? Now riflescope was targeting her. She was thrown from her chair when the bullet hit, was that physics? Here’s the worst part, the dying scene. And I thought sniper shot; instant death; head dropped on chin?!
Then we had an elaborated funeral for Maria and a wake full of foods, but nada for poor detective Ashe tortured to death earlier that same day Maria died. Cross and Kane did not even utter a word about their loss of a colleague, let alone Kane was her lover for two months?!
When it was finished, I roughly knew what the plot was. The bad guy was Giles Mercier(Jean Reno). Sadly, another good French actor going Depardieu’s way.
SKIP… glad I didn’t see it at the theater when it was out.