Earlier this week, I had a venting hour on Twitter about my displeasure of Tyler Perry being cast as Alex Cross in the upcoming movie. It's no secret. I've been expressing my thoughts on the bad casting choice since July (original blog post here). But I recently saw one movie trailer too many and stepped back up on the soapbox with a mic and vented more.
For the record, I am not the only person who feels this way. Well, the tweets are watching, people. Guess it was in the cards to prove me wrong. I was invited to an early FREE screening by my friend Patrice. (Thanks again, girlie! If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have seen the movie at all.) We had a great time.
Tyler Perry (Alex Cross)
Carmen Ejogo (Maria Cross) - Wife
Cicely Tyson feat. her lacefront (Nana Mama)
Edward Burns (Thomas Kane) -Partner
Matthew Fox (The Butcher) -Villian
John McGinley (Captain Brookwell)
Jean Reno (Mercier) - Target
Detective Alex Cross is on the case to catch "The Butcher." While investigating the multiple murders, he psychoanalyzes and profiles the villian, like he does with most murderers. Instead of focusing on the hit he was hired for, The Butcher turns his attention to Alex Cross. Right before his eyes, The Butcher guns down Maria Cross, Alex's wife. Now Alex is determined to catch The Butcher for professional and personal reasons.
The movie is supposed to be based on the 12th book in the Alex Cross series by James Patterson. However, there were some deviations from the book's storyline. For example, in the movie this was Alex Cross's first encounter with The Butcher. While in the book, the villian is Gary Soneji and has faced Cross before. Also, Cross's partner is and has always been John Sampson in the book series. I don't know where this Thomas Kane character came from in the movie. To be friends since childhood and partners for years, their chemistry was just blah. Not extraordinary. Not strangers.
One of the major differences between the movie and the book is the setting. In the book series, Alex Cross lives in Washington D.C. In the movie, Cross lives in Detroit and is a detective with the Detroit Police Department. I'm not complaining about the setting change because it gives a great spotlight for the City of Detroit. My friend Patrice and I had fun calling out the different locations, streets, and Detroit references. The movie includes its own version of Mayor Kilpatrick, Christine Beatty, the Police Chief, and more figures. Even the cross streets mentioned in the movie—St. Aubin and Mack Ave.—really intersect. Although, Cross called the People Mover a train. The RenCen, Compuware, and Centaur Bar are just a few of the buildings shown in scenes. Needless to say, I loved the setting!
My Two Cents
Overall, I will rate the movie 2.5 out of 5. The story was good and majority of the cast acted well together. Matthew Fox especially did an awesome job playing a psychopathic killer. John McGinley played the perfect asshole captain that is only concerned with the political aspect of police work. I kept waiting for him to slip and say, "What's the fucking procedure when you have a gun to your head?" I could have done without Cicely Tyson and actually surprised that Tyler Perry didn't try to play Nana Mama too.
I'm not sure if it was my seating in the theater, but the action scenes seemed too jumpy. It was very clear that stunt doubles were used. I know this is standard for action movies, but does anyone really believe Tyler Perry can play in an action movie? No. My opinion on casting Tyler Perry as the main character has not changed after seeing the movie. He just didn't convince me. I had trouble separating Cross from Madea, especially when Cross would pull out his gun in a non-masculine way, or try to act sexy in a scene. We don't believe you, Perry. You need more people.
I still believe that if you are a TP fan, you will enjoy the movie. My friend Patrice has not read the book series, likes TP, and rated the movie a 4 out of 5. If you are a fan of the book series, you will most likely remain disappointed in the casting choice but like the movie's storyline. Besides, some rather see Morgan Freeman as the one and only Cross, regardless of how old and gray he is. Alex Cross fans, save your money. Wait until its available for rental or free in the comfort of your own home. James Patterson series fans know and expect better.
Alex Cross opens in theaters Friday, October 19. Will you go see the movie?
Title: Alex Cross
Opening Date: October 19, 2012
Run Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes