Although not huge hits, the previous two films featuring James Patterson’s character Alex Cross did okay at the box office and have since become popular home video hits. Morgan Freeman established the character in those two films and depicted the character as a no nonsense tough as nails detective/psychologist with a knack for stopping killers. The new film Alex Cross is an attempt to revive the character with Tyler Perry taking over the iconic literary role.
Alex Cross (Perry) is ending his run as a homicide detective, moving on to a profiling role with the FBI. It seems his last case may involve a psychotic killer (Matthew Fox) who is killing businessmen around Detroit. The killer is careful, meticulous and deadly, providing a challenging nemesis for Cross. But when the case gets personal, Cross must decide if he is willing to cross lines to stop the madman.
I got good vibes from the trailers for Alex Cross, especially from the performance by Matthew Fox. He dropped a ton of weight for the role and frankly, he just looked downright scary. I wasn’t sure about Perry in the role of Alex Cross, but having liked many of his films in the past, I was willing to give him a fair shot. As it turns out, most of my initial instincts were a little off. First off, the film looks great. Director Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story) did a nice job, the film looks fantastic and is paced well. Matthew Fox was indeed excellent in the role of the nutjob killer. He looked the part and played the crazy up as far as he could crank it without going into overdrive. The loose link here was Perry. Throughout the film I just couldn’t buy him as a tough homicide detective. I can’t even pinpoint what exactly it is, but I just never believed him in the role. He is a big guy, but I just never saw him as intimidating or a threat to someone as badass as Fox’s killer. The story lacked a little something as well; it needed to have more punch, more personality. The film as a whole felt like a generic product, like a serial killer vs. cop movie packaged in that yellow ‘no name’ branding you see in the grocery store. Disappointing to be sure, maybe they can get Freeman back if they try it again…or Denzel Washington?
The Blu-ray from eOne is stunning. The transfer here is top notch and highlights the beautiful urban photography on display. Clarity and detail are excellent and colors are bold and solid. The soundtrack is pretty immersive as well making for a great presentation of a disappointing but well filmed movie. And it is worth checking out if you are a Matthew Fox fan as well; his Picasso killer is a memorable one.
Available February 5, 2013 on Blu-ray and DVD.