By Tanya Blake — Summit Entertainment
** 2 STAR RATING (out of 4) | Crime drama - PG-13. 102 minutes — at area theaters.
The actor is best known for making his audiences laugh as Madea, the comedic over the top fictional character from the Mabel Simmons trilogy. The character is a towering, massive, elderly woman, with a fiercely vindictive nature about herself. Some of Madea’s famous quotes are:
“Well when you gettin’ got and somebody done got you and you go get them, when you get em’, everybody’s gon’ get got.”
However, in his new film, Alex Cross you do not get the insanely over reactive but there is a commonality between the two; a willingness to threaten with the use of weapons, drive a Cadillac erratically, use physical violence, as well as use any and all means necessary to show up a wrongdoer or offending party.
The multi-faceted director brings to his fans something new….well almost. What you do get is a lack luster action packed/gangster type film. And it appears, Perry connects with his inner thug…. featuring plenty of scenes highlighting guns and smoke!
At the start of the film, Cross is beating his wife at a guessing game they play. It’s Perry’s first lead role that he did not produce, direct or write.
The film is from the mind of novelist James Patterson, the script by Mark Moss and Kerry Williamson which takes the man back to his pre-Washington and FBI days, when he was a cop on the Detroit police force. Perry took over the role from Morgan Freeman who first played Alex Cross in the film Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spider.
Perry is about 20 years younger than Morgan Freeman was when he played the roles.
Alex Cross is a psycho thriller centered around a maniac, Matthew Fox that ‘loves inflicting pain on his victims,’ seriously….he says that in the film. Fox mimic’s Christian Bale’s character in the Machinist, with his significant weight lost giving him an almost ghostly, sinister look.
One of the biggest hurdles for Dr. Alex Cross is that since he was last on the big screen, mainstream media has been feeding audiences a steady diet of FBI profilers and forensic agents via Criminal Minds and Law and Order, all of which track monstrous serial killers.
The cheesiest part of the film, which is also the climax is a shoot out set in Detroit. During the scene, director Rob Cohen scouted out the General Motors Heritage Museum and fell for the one-of-a-kind Caddy. The “minute I saw that car, I thought it was right out of Al Capone,” says Cohen. “So wouldn’t it be funny to talk gangster in a real gangster car.” ”They get into a car you’d see on The Untouchables. It’s a fun way to bring a private conversation about,” he adds.
And just in case you were wondering, where in the hell is Madea and who the hell is Cross…understand this new bad boy character is something Perry has always dreamed of.
“I’ve been in the business for a very long time, and Cohen is the first man to ever offer me a role like this. He saw it first,” Perry said. “I’ve always wanted to, but it had to be the right role, and this was the right situation. I read the script and I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this, or if I want to try to take this on,’” he said. “And then I realized that [the] physicality and description [James Patterson] had for Alex Cross in the books, and I said, ‘Wait a minute, this is me.’ And I couldn’t put it down, and I realized I had to do it.
I couldn’t be Morgan Freeman playing Alex Cross. I had to do the best job I could as Tyler Perry, cause Morgan Freeman is brilliant!” he said. “He played God in movies. All I had to do – or could do – was the best, the absolute best that I could do.”
It will be interesting to observe if much of Perry’s generally loyal audience turns out to see him in a major change of pace, as well as if non-fans are curious to check him as a potential action hero.
The film cost $23 Million to film.
I give the film 2 stars for effort. I like Tyler Perry as a girl…better. ( staring straight faced)
Have you seen the film yet? Planning on catching it? Leave your comments below.
Photo Credit: Summit Entertainment