This Friday Tyler Perry makes his action movie debut in Rob Cohen’s Alex Cross. The multi-million dollar director, producer and actor reprises the role popularized by Morgan Freeman in the previous adaptations of James Patterson’s novels Along Came A Spider and Kiss The Girls.
As Cross, Perry is a homicide detective/psychologist in Detroit who finds himself hunting a deranged hitman/serial killer named Picasso (Matthew Fox) with really great taste in cars. The cat-and-mouse between Perry and Fox is supposed to make you feel tension and angst, like in Silence Of The Lambs or Seven. But instead we get lamb…with mint jelly.
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Perry already has the handicap of building most of his acting resume in a dress as the gun-toting, weed smoking Madea, but the limp dialogue and erratic pacing of Alex Cross don’t help his transition to action hero at all. There is more dramatic build up in an episode of “Dora The Explorer” when Swiper The Fox comes snooping around. For example, the first victim in the film is supposedly “tortured to death” but instead her corpse looks like she’s just hung over from a night of popping Molly with 2 Chainz.
So when Dr. Cross goes Dr. Banner and “swears revenge,” it seems as believable as Nicki Minaj telling Mariah Carey “off with her head.”
In fact, Tyler Perry was more intimidating in a dress. And here are 5 reasons why.
5. When Madea throws a punch you see it connect.
During one of the hand-to-hand battles between Cross and a bad guy, the camera work is so shaky that it should come with a seizure warning for those with epilepsy. The Blaire Witch style shooting must have been employed to disguise how many different stuntmen they had to use for Perry to seem like he was actually fighting.
4. When Madea holds her gun you believe she’s done it before
Cross holds a shotgun like it’s a loaf of Italian bread. During an obligatory, Rambo-esque “I’m preparing for war” moment, Cross is stashing guns in every orifice, but has all the urgency of someone packing for vacation in St. Tropez. Not to mention that his arms in a wife beater have less definition than a pop-up dictionary (smart people help the dumb people here).
3. When Madea runs she doesn’t lose her breath
From the opening moments you get to see Cross running down a bad guy and he looks so slow and plodding under that trench coat you wonder why they didn’t just bring Morgan Freeman back.
2. When Madea threatens you, you believe it..
We don’t know about you, but when Madea told that dude on the bus that she was going to see him at 3 ‘o’clock, you knew he was in for an ass whoopin. But when Cross grunts that “I will meet his soul at the gates of hell before I let him take a person I love…” you just think he’s doing voice over work for the next Max Payne video game.
1. When Madea makes you laugh, it’s on purpose….
Regretably, there were many moments of audible laughter in the movie theater during this screening, but this wasn’t a comedy. In fact, the more serious the scenario attempted to be the louder the chuckles became. It’s like having a villain with a lisp. And watching this movie was indeed suffering succotash.
Alex Cross Opens in theaters everywhere this Friday.