Alex Cross [Blu-Ray] Rob Cohen

Alex Cross [Blu-Ray] Rob Cohen
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According to the brief featurette (read: glorified trailer) included with the Blu-Ray of Alex Cross, director Rob Cohen's intention was to a make a movie that deconstructed and analyzed the phenomenological relationship between Alex Cross's (Tyler Perry) intuition and presupposition, as mirrored by his eventual moral breakdown and path towards vengeance. In actuality, this tonally incoherent police thriller, based upon the James Patterson (Kiss the Girls) novel, mostly details inadvertent misogyny and perplexingly superficial character journeys that operate by the needs of exposition rather than anything resembling psychological motivation. Cross, noted as a master intuitive profiler, gets on the case of a politically and financially motivated serial killer referred to as Picasso (Matthew Fox), for his tendency to draw post-impressionist portraits of his victims. Cracking bad jokes and speaking only in factual terms, his quest to find the killer, who is targeting German (Werner Daehn) and French (Jean Reno) billionaire CEO types, ultimately puts his family in danger when his melodramatic, close-up assessment ("he's stimulus driven and sociopathic" — no shit) proves to be slightly off, and hilariously glib. Now, initially, Alex Cross looks to be a standard, albeit ugly and atrociously crafted police thriller where the killer leaves fun little clues in an elaborate game of wits. The clumsy dialogue ("I'd rather take advice from a ham sandwich") and bad acting (from literally everyone) are just fun incidentals, much like the confused handling of humour in crime scenes involving tortured women. But once the case pushes itself beyond the workplace into Cross's personal life, this exercise in unplanned, visionless direction is just one embarrassingly laughable cry scene away from an inexplicable and awkwardly executed character shift that finds Madea donning a leather jacket and grabbing sawed-off shotguns. It's here that the unintentional hilarity takes its true form, with Perry sneering theatrical in every scene, while Fox twitches his way through full, maniacal Nicolas Cage mode in his newly emaciated, seemingly terminally ill body. Whether Alex Cross catches the killer or saves the lives of dickhead CEOs while every female character in the film is brutally slaughtered is almost a redundancy. Even the inevitable twist (of sorts) is just a tacked on necessity to suggest that greed has something to do with all human evils. Unfortunately, the assertion and theme, just like every other psychological assumption and contrived plot point, are merely tenuous ideas thrown out there to mask the fact that nothing going on is even remotely coherent. And according to the commentary track included with the Blu-Ray, director Rob Cohen doesn't understand that just pointing and shooting a (bad) script without planning might not result in a good final product, especially when it's not a XXX or Fast and the Furious entry. (eOne)