I’m a fan of crime dramas that weave the psychological profile of the perpetrator into the narrative. “Alex Cross” delivers on what is advertised, but still suffers from a few flaws.
Tyler Perry stars as Alex Cross, a detective and psychological profiler who works for the Detroit Police Department. He matches wits with a psychopathic serial killer, played by Matthew Fox, who is obsessed with pain in its many forms. The case becomes personal when the killer threatens Cross’s family and fellow detectives.
The story is pretty much what you would expect to see in a crime drama. All introductions are brief and many of the plot points are similar to what you see in most neo-noir films.
The film makes up for these unoriginal elements with minor injections of comedy and well-planned exploration of both Cross and the killer he’s pursuing.
The technical aspects of “Alex Cross” are where most of the flaws appear, especially in the climax
There is a mix of steady shots and the nauseating shaky-cam, and the editing does not do either types of shots justice.
When we see the steady shots, the fight movements and general actions of the actors are slow and awkward, which is a pretty good indication that the shaky cam shots were simply a failed attempt to make the actions appear more fast-paced than they actually are.
The faulty camera work in the climax is really disappointing, as the film is technically strong up until that point. The dialogue is engaging without getting too wordy. The shots are well composed and planned out, and the sound design is on the level of a professional film.
There is great deal of time spent on character development, and it shows in the actors’ performances
While there was nothing that will generate an Academy Award, I was able to look past the instantly recognizable faces and see the characters as the characters. I also find it refreshing to see Tyler Perry in a more mainstream movie instead of one based on his plays.
Overall, despite the hiccups toward the end, I found this film to be entertaining and easy to be drawn into, especially if you’re into crime dramas like “Criminal Minds.”
I went into the movie without having seen Alex Cross’ first film appearance in 1997’s “Kiss the Girls” starring Morgan Freeman, nor having read the James Patterson novels. There is really no need to see the previous films or read any of the novels to enjoy this new incarnation.
For the most part, “Alex Cross” is well shot, makes some pretty good editing decisions, and has a fully developed story.