REVIEW | Alex Cross (2012)

Detective Alex Cross, James Patterson's protagonist from his popular and top-selling US detective novel series, finds his way again to the silver screen. 

The movie, based on the twelfth novel Cross, portrays an impossibly good black American forensic psychologist Dr. Alex Cross (Tyler Perry). Alex Cross is the detective counterpart of Dr. House sans the attitude-- he  is rarely wrong. But one day, Alex Cross finally meets his equal -  a psychotic and highly skilled ex-operative serial killer called Michael "The Butcher" Sullivan (Matthew Fox) who is obsessed with inflicting pain on his victims. And when The Butcher murders Cross' wife in front of him, our hero vows to destroy him. But it's proving to be a tiny bit difficult for him.

Alex Cross' loyal sidekick played by Edward Burns.

Directed by Rob Cohen (The Fast and The Furious), Alex Cross feels like a television cop drama, except that CSI or Law and Order are much more exciting. It's surreal to be inside a cinema and watching on the big screen something that feels absolutely a hundred percent like a TV episode of some cop drama series-- from the screenplay down to the cinematography. It makes you want to reach for the remote control and surf for something better on TV. But since you have, like, a hundred other people watching with you, you politely stay put and watch it. Good thing it can hold your attention until the end.

The Butcher is proving be a difficult criminal for Cross.

Alex Cross hasn't got that cinematic feel to it. The story is plain, Dr. Alex Cross is plain in a teddy bear kind of way, and The Butcher looks cartoonish, interesting but not frightening. The characters lack depth and the fight scenes are boring, captured in tight close-up shots, fast and blurry, so you can't get any excitement and tension from the physical power play.

Alex Cross might be more interesting as a novel (I don't know because I have yet to try reading it). But this movie adaptation cannot trigger any sort of mental and emotional excitement. It's a crime thriller without the thrill. It's not boring at all, but it's one of the plainest motion pictures I have ever seen. This might work better as a TV series-- but with this kind of screenplay and direction, even Law and Order would still be more exciting.

Also starring Jean Reno.

2 out of 5 stars
In Philippine Cinemas October 17, 2012


Kathy Ngo said…
But the books were really good. Wahhh ... this is sad.