I’ll be frank: I just don’t “get” Tyler Perry, and probably because I don’t think that there’s much to get. Don’t be wrong: I find his personal story of overcoming severe childhood physical, psychic, and sexual abuse and poverty as a young adult to be truly uplifting. But why someone who has such a reservoir of deep and impactful experiences should put on a series of awful movies featuring him as a sassy black grandma and produce the most treacly drivel sitcoms imaginable is beyond me. Does he think we will forgive all these assaults on our intelligence just because he was offered and agreed to a producing credit for Precious?
Alex Cross is his latest excursion on screen, and something that is clearly meant to be a game changer for him. Unfortunately, as anyone who has ever worked in the worlds of show business or politics will be the first to tell you, game changers can only be anticipated, and not planned. It seems odd to me that a man who has done over a half dozen films in drag suddenly turns around and expects to be taken seriously as a Hollywood action star. While we’re at it, why don’t we just slip Megan Fox into a pair of overalls and some mud boots and have her play the banjo in the remake of Deliverance? Why not indeed.
Alex Cross is based on the hero from the James Patterson novels, though apart from the coincidence of name and the fact that he’s supposed to be the world’s greatest murder detective, the movie and the novels have absolutely nothing in common. Perry plays Cross who is charged with decoding grisly murders and fighting a super pumped up villain named Picasso (an unrecognizable Matthew Fox) who leaves drawings wherever he leaves a body. The police are hot on his trail. Or not. Which is why Cross steps in. It’s pretty routine.
The movie is plotted so lackadaisically and directed with even less sense of purpose that to even call it “direction” is to invite irony. Normally I would say that such a movie should only be seen by only the most diehard of Tyler Perry fans, but something tells me that even they would not enjoy this. Eh.