Perry surprises in 'Alex Cross'
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 21:10
Tyler Perry has always been towards the top of my most hated celebrities list. I saw “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” when the joke of him dressing up as a woman was new and didn’t care for it. Needless to say, this plot device has become sorely overused. Perry’s films have been criticized by many in the Hollywood community for creating negative stereotypes of black actors. I have always agreed with this notion.
With this in mind, I went into Alex Cross wondering what Perry’s role would be here. An hour and a half later, I am removing Tyler Perry from that “most hated celebrities” list I mentioned earlier. Tyler Perry successfully pulls off being the lead actor in an action movie. Perry brings his own interpretation to the role of Alex Cross, once played by Morgan Freeman, and boy is he good! Not only is Perry at the top of his game, but Matthew Fox also gives us an almost Oscar worthy performance. I loved ‘Lost’ and Fox’s character Jack was always my favorite character. Fox may have been keeping a low profile since the hit TV show ended in 2010, but now he’s back with full vengeance. After five minutes of screen time, I found myself hating his character so much that I was truly terrified by his portrayal.
Fox’s performance is one of the best things about this film, but it is both frustrating and brilliant. It’s brilliant because it’s so good and terrifying. It’s frustrating because he is so close to Oscar territory, but we never really get to see enough of his character’s inner psyche. We see just enough to be creeped out and say, “good job Matthew Fox.” Why are we not developing him more and seeing more into this psycho? This brings me to my biggest complaint with this movie: the directing.
You may know director Rob Cohen from “XXX” and the first “Fast and the Furious.” While I love both those movies, I’ll admit they are poorly directed and the actors and plot are what saved them. Unfortunately, this also happened here. Alex Cross had potential to be a great movie, but instead it’s a good movie. Perry and Fox give us performances nobody knew they could and the rest of the cast follows their lead. A good director would have worked more with the script, given us more development and not have rushed the plot. Also, at times the camera work is intentionally shaky because of a trend in Hollywood lately that believes shaking a camera during action scenes creates suspense. It doesn’t. Moving a camera constantly during an action scene only annoys the audience and makes it difficult to see what is going on. I never thought I’d say this, but even Tyler Perry could have directed this better.
Alex Cross is a fun movie. It’s got a good story, amazing acting and isn’t just the kind of cliché detective movie your probably expecting it to be. Perry and Fox deliver and the rest of the cast makes up for a bad director and rushed script. All they needed to do was hire a different director. Maybe then we wouldn’t get the “PG-13-ified” moments (where the obvious R rated subject matter is barely explored), rushed development and shaking cameras. Alex Cross is so close to being a really good movie. Instead it is just a good movie, but at least worth a watch at that.