Chopping Block Review: Alex Cross
By Nolan P. Smith-Pastrami Nation
(Apple Valley) Action flicks are the bread and butter of the film industry; there is no denying that. We love to go to the theatre, check our brains at the door, and witness overdone explosions, thousands of bullets, and tougher than cheap beef jerky heroes. So, can you achieve this when the action hero in mainly known for his comedic prowess?
Director Rob Cohen (Stealth, DragonHeart) seems to think so, as the starring role goes to Tyler Perry, a man well known for his many comedy films and sitcoms in the recent years. Perry’s Alex Cross is a detective/forensic psychologist who lives a pretty good life: his best friend from grade school is his partner in arms on the force (Edward Burns), he’s married with two kids and one more on the way, and he might be leaving the hectic life of a detective life behind by joining the F.B.I. Pretty good, right? Well, that all changes when he’s put on a case to track down a sadistic murderer (Matthew Fox), who has no name given, but it known by his Picasso like paintings he leaves behind at crime scenes. Lots happens, and it all spirals down to a manhunt for this murderer as the chase has become very personal for Cross, for reasons I won’t say as I don’t want to spoil anything.
Perry’s Cross is a hard character to pin down and believe, as he seems to be too much for anyone to really comprehend. He’s kind of like Adrian Monk (from the TV series Monk) and Shawn Spencer (Psych), as he is hyper aware of his surroundings, but that’s all we get to see really besides his emotional strong-arm tactics. We don’t see the brilliant mind we are led to believe Cross is; instead it feels more like Tyler Perry trying to be an action star. Perry’s wholesome appearance doesn’t help, as it’s hard to take this guy seriously, even when he’s trying to not be funny. Fox plays the antagonist, which actually is pretty interesting until he sheds his mysterious aura and decides to babble non stop, killing the feel of the so called butcher.
Now, I should come right out and say that this isn’t a horrible film: it really isn’t. There are some great scenes, but the pace of the film provides another hindrance. The film builds, and builds, and builds some more until half the movie is finished and we finally see what the conflict of the film is. I have seen some horrible films in my life, and Alex Cross is nowhere on that list. No, but the film feels like it belongs as a made for TV film rather than a box office would be blockbuster. I recommend waiting for Netflix or Redbox on this one, as it’s a decent film at best.