On the one hand, I have to tip my cap to the producers of Alex Cross for having the guts to cast against type — but there are limits. Case in point: Tyler Perry as homicide detective/psychologist Alex Cross.
Now, I know Morgan Freeman — who played Cross in Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider — was considered too old compared to the character in James Patterson’s books, but I haven’t read them, so I don’t know if Perry is closer to the character on the page, but he doesn’t work for me onscreen. He’s just too doughy-looking to be a screen cop, and I keep expecting him to bust into a funny voice or come around a corner in drag. It’s kind of a wonder that Martin Lawrence wasn’t cast as the bad guy!
The actual baddie is (naturally) a serial killer played by former LOST hero Matthew Fox, here with his head shaved and arms covered with tattoos. Fox snarls effectively, and looks mean enough to be a hit man. The rest of the production also looks solid: Action maven Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious, xXx) directed, and the cast also includes master thespian Edward Burns, French tough guy Jean Reno, and Star Trek‘s green-skinned hottie Rachel Nichols.
Here is the official (long-winded) synopsis:
Crusading detective/psychologist ALEX CROSS meets his match against the psychotic, mob hit man, MICHAEL SULLIVAN aka THE BUTCHER. As Cross investigates the hit man’s gruesome murders, Sullivan decides to send him a deadly message by murdering his wife in cold blood. Now enraged, Cross vows to hunt down the killer if it’s the last thing he does. However, Sullivan is a serial killing mastermind and continues to evade Cross while pushing him to an ethical breaking point as a cop and father. As Cross closes in on the killer, he discovers evidence that points to the unimaginable — a revelation that could change everything. With unstoppable action, and unforeseeable twists, this suspenseful action thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Well, we’ll see about that come Oct. 19, when the movie is released…