Based on the 12th book of James Patterson’s series of crime novels, Alex Cross (Tyler Perry, Star Trek) is a homicide detective and psychologist who meets his match with a psychotic mob hitman (Matthew Fox, Lost)... Now playing nationwide.
With the idiotic trailer tagline "Don't cross Alex Cross", this superlatively generic thriller reboot signified early on its dedication to being as groan-inducing as possible.
Morgan Freeman was previously the titular brilliant maverick FBI profiler in 1997's Kiss The Girls and 2001's Along Came A Spider (directed by Lee Tamahori!), two moderately competent thrillers which seem like golden age classics next to Alex Cross.
After years of writing, directing and starring in his own superlatively successful independent films, one-man-industry Tyler Perry undoubtedly had many studio suitors trying to snap him up for a "proper movie". Alex Cross must've seemed like a sure thing on paper, but boy did he make the wrong call.
Perry is fatally miscast here, rarely projecting the interior world that buoys such a character. His reactions to extreme events seem off, and his chemistry with a partner played by Edward Burns is forced.
Director Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious, xXx) has displayed action filmmaking competence before, but none of the set-pieces here are remotely exciting. It's sub-80s cop show type stuff.
And I haven't even mentioned poor old Matthew Fox, who clearly envisioned his psychotic killer role as a chance for a Christian Bale-esque transformation, but lacks the acting ability to do anything with his warped physique. Fox's character looms large on the film's poster, but it's a dire performance made all the more laughable for how seriously the actor seems to be taking it.
Cat-and-mouse serial killer thrillers are like pizza - even when they're bad, they're still kinda good. Consider this pizza to have fallen on the floor, face-down. It's an embarrassment for all involved.