MARVEL / LIVEBLOGGING THE 90s / CELEBRITY FACTS / MINDHOLE BLOWERS / NETFLIX



Alex Cross Review: The Best Movie of Idris Elba's Career

By Dustin Rowles | Film Reviews | October 19, 2012 | Comments ()


Alex-Cross-5-008.jpeg

It's been awhile since I have felt as much contempt for a film as I do Tyler Perry's Alex Cross, but it's because Perry and the filmmakers behind it have a mutual contempt and disrespect for their audience. Alex Cross is not a movie inasmuch as its a mash-up of platitudes that people yell in detective thrillers as performed by a bucket of assholes. It's an ungodly, incoherent atrociously acted mess of a film written by psychopathically dumb people who couldn't sell a line to a three-sided square. If you could focus-test brain damage, this movie would score in the 90s.

That's exactly why it's the best movie of Idris Elba's career: Because he didn't make it. The idiotourage behind Alex Cross initially cast Elba in the lead role, but claimed to have yanked the job from him after Tyler Perry agreed to come aboard. My guess, however, is that the two decisions were unrelated. Idris Elba likely read the script and told the producers to immediately stop everything they were doing and go f*ck themselves. Only a person with as little shame as a man who has built a career out of wearing an old woman's dress and a stuffed bra would agree to use his box-office clout to support a movie as detrimental to common f*cking sense as Alex Cross, and Tyler Perry has made a turrible career out of giving no f*cks about his audience.

Based on the James Patterson series, Tyler Perry plays a younger version of the Alex Cross character depicted by Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He's a Detroit detective before having accepted a job as a FBI profiler. Here, he's saddled with his partner and lifelong best friend, Tommy Kane (Ed Burns), and a third partner, Monica Ashe (Rachel Nichols), who is sleeping with Kane for no reason that has any bearing on the rest of the film's plot. The only function it seems to serve is to exchange a few minutes of screen time with Perry for a few minutes with Burns, which is like treating an amputation with acid.

The trio of detectives is in search of a deranged assassin (Matthew Fox), who looks like he lives on a binge diet of meth, steroids, and Red Bull, and acts like a guy staring into the direct-to-DVD abyss of the rest of his career. If you could combine the overacting talents of Vincent D'Onofrio and Billy Zane and the charisma of a flaccid penis you'd have the rough approximation of Fox's Picasso character, so named because he inexplicably does chalk drawings of his victims. There's a lot of inexplicable things going on in Alex Cross, but perhaps nothing as inexplicable as Picasso's motivations: He's a sociopath, but one of those rare sociopaths who needs to be paid $3 million to trigger his psychosis. There are two villains in Alex Cross -- the assassin, and the mystery person who paid him -- but there's very little relationship between the two entities over the course of the film, almost as if the original film about a psycho killer came in 15 minutes short, so they tacked on a clumsy subplot to get them to the 90-minute mark and because Jean Reno need a paycheck to support his gravy addiction.

Picasso is into torture, but not so much into it that it would jeopardize Alex Cross' PG-13 rating. He uses a drug to paralyze his victims while he tortures them, which is a convenient way of creating a chemist character who needs to be tracked down, which creates an unfortunate side plot that features a scene with Giancarlo Esposito (I audibly gasped at the sight of Gus Fring, not because I was happy to see him, but because I felt so sorry that he'd gotten mixed up into this mess).

Largely, however, Alex Cross is a lethargic game of cat-and-mouse after the cat and mouse have been kicked into traffic and traveled a few miles inside an Mack truck's wheel wells. However, the relationship between cat and mouse here doesn't make any f*cking sense. For instance, at one point, Picasso calls up Cross and says, "Here's your chance to ask me questions and get inside my head," and Cross asks, "Are you having fun? Was your first kill a family pet?" That exchange enrages Picasso so much that he accuses Cross of using "psychobabble" (warning: there is no actual psychobabble in this film), and then shoots Cross' wife, because OBVIOUSLY.

That's the kind of disconnect between words and actions that dominates the entire film, which is to be expected from Rob Cohen, the three-celled organism behind the markedly better The Skulls. At least The Skulls had the charming presence of Joshua Jackson (RIP). The late Joshua Jackson could've taken 1,000 feet of celluloid, wiped his ass with it, and ran it through a film projector and it would've been more entertaining that Alex Cross, the worst movie of 2012.



Are you following Pajiba on Facebook or Twitter? Because every time you do an angel does the Paul Rudd dance

Around the Web


These Kanye West/Wes Anderson Mash-Ups Are The Best Thing You'll See All Day | Last Night on "SNL": Bruno Mars Was Forgettable, But Stefon Brought Down the House





Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • cheese

    Wait, Joshua Jackson is dead?

  • valerie

    Fox’s Picasso character, so named because he inexplicably does chalk drawings of his victims
    LOL Something terribly hilarious about the header picture pausing his torturing to do some sketching. I need to believe this is James Patterson's fault.

  • Frank Berrodin

    Wait. Pacey's dead?

  • It's an inside joke on the site. He's not actually dead.

  • Bernie

    Is it worse than The Specialist (Stallone) Or Abduction (Taylor lautner)? Becasue those are the two worst movies I have ever seen and my benchmark for crap.

  • e jerry powell

    Oh, I don't know. I accidentally sat through part of Zyzzyx Rd on cable before I realized it was Heigl and crap. Pretty horrific, practically undistributable crap.

  • Wembley

    The turrible made me want to see this remade with Charles Barkley in the Cross role.

  • e jerry powell

    That could be comical, actually.

    Someone get Keenen Ivory Wayans on this, STAT.

  • OldSchool60

    "a bucket of assholes" for the win!

  • Pookie

    For the first time Rowles I now understand your thoughts about Tyler Perry. It is just like the love affair people have with Tim Tebow, Tebow can’t throw a fucking ball to save his life. But yet he is still afforded chance after chance to prove his doubters wrong, and with every opportunity he gets, he fucks up more and more. Like Tebow, Perry is unbearable to watch. I’m almost embarrassed for Perry at this point in time, I really don’t know what more to say.

  • Jezzer

    Wait, what? I've been anxiously waiting for the Pookie Rebuttal, and THIS is what I get? For shame, Pooks.

    FOR SHAME.

  • e jerry powell

    But Pooks, the Perry bitch be gettin PAID

  • Welcome, my child...

  • Fredo

    Ironically enough, this is the kind of movie that would be improved by a cross-dressing granny with a gun. Dammit Perry! Even when it's staring you in the face like Tim Curry's massive codpiece, you refuse to reach for it!!

  • Three_nineteen

    A lot of great comedians have built their careers out of wearing women's dresses and stuffed bras. I will thank you to not compare awesome performers such as Milton Berle, Flip Wilson, Monty Python, and KITH to the likes of Tyler Perry.

  • Mrs. Julien

    the charisma of a flaccid penis
    Ironically, with all the tautness and veininess, he actually looks somewhat like an erect penis.

  • firedmyass

    I'd add the modifier "painfully."

    Been there... and the resemblance is remarkable.

  • emmelemm

    "the charisma of a flaccid penis"

    I don't know, I've met a few relatively charming ones in my time. And don't forget: puppetry of the penis! That's very charismatic.

  • Guest

    "people who couldn’t sell a line to a three-sided square."

    SO stolen. /scurries away hiding something, looking suspicious

  • Baba O'R'lyeh

    "Idris
    Elba likely read the script and told the producers to immediately
    stop everything they were doing and go f*ck themselves."

    You
    could say that. But then again, Idris did have a part in "Ghost
    Rider 2". And "Prom Night". Aaaaaaaand "Takers".

    (Just saying. I still believe Luther > Sherlock. You just gotta pay the bills, man.)

  • Miss Laaw-yuhr

    First season of Luther is perhaps greater than or equal to Sherlock. It was an amazingly crafted series that had wonderful, fully realized characters and a plot raised the steaks each episode. But the second season was such a disappointment that on it's own it's lesser than Sherlock. Somebody can make that into math I'm sure.

  • e jerry powell

    You just gotta pay the bills, man.

    You'd figure that the role would have fallen to Samuel L. Jackson, then.

  • Ozioma

    Not after 'The Avengers.'

  • e jerry powell

    But do you honestly think that Jackson's going to quit taking paycheck roles because he has another franchise? It didn't stop him after Star Wars...

  • Snath

    Awww, Matthew Fox, what are you doing? Knock it off.

  • plz_thx

    Wait, Pacey's dead?!

  • desultorykcp

    Sigh. He's not. I keep meaning to post asking about this running joke but I never have. Anybody up for explaining?

  • space_oddity
  • Kala

    Thanks, space_oddity. Even though it's like, the tenth time I've seen the phrase, my eyes widen every time I see "Joshua Jackson R.I.P."

    I blame my gold-fish memory on academia. Yeah, sounds fair.

  • Salieri2

    Say, could somebody fix the typo on that page that makes Channing Tatum's nickname into "Charming Potota"? It's minor, but it wrecks the awesomeness of it all.

  • Maguita NYC


    you say potato, I say potota...
    Let's call the whole thing off!

  • plz_thx

    ...and he's on Fringe, so it can't be a reference to his career. (Probably.)

  • RekodeGallo

    I think its a reference to his character on Fringe being dead in a this dimension so his dad stole the Pacey from the other dimension to be in this one.

  • BlackRabbit

    Spoiler!

  • Sirilicious

    Really, you are spoiled by something that happened a few seasons ago? Then you 'll probably want to close your eyes for this: Buffy sent Angel to hell.

  • Jezzer

    *GASP*

    BUT THEIR LOVE WOULD NEVER DIE! :O

  • Sirilicious

    Well, not untill Riley, anyway.

  • Bert_McGurt

    You know, there's an actual game called cat-and-mouse (it's a bit like tug-of-war crossed with the Joust from American Gladiators), and having played it often I can confirm that it's a lot more entertaining than this movie sounds.

  • Samjay

    So you enjoyed it then?

  • Devin McMusters

    First Heigl kills Stephanie Plum, then Tyler Perry murders Alex Cross.....and since it always happens in threes, Tommy Cruise will soon off Jack Reacher.

  • Tommy Cruise will soon do what to Reacher? Oh, wait. I saw that wrong.

    Although it goes well with the Jack Reach-around comment from another thread.

  • John G.

    I might still have to see it, just to see Matthew Fox's steroid body.

  • Ernest Hirsch

    Tyler Perry was in this and they didn't re-title it Alex Cross-Dresser?

  • L.O.V.E.

    Rowles, you are lucky you're not a woman, otherwise Matthew Fox would come right over there and punch you in the face.

  • hapl0

    Cmon, really?

    http://www.eonline.com/news/35...

    It’s been awhile since I have felt as much contempt for a film as I do Tyler Perry’s Alex Cross, but it’s because Perry and the filmmakers behind it have a mutual contempt and disrespect for their audience. Alex Cross is not a movie inasmuch as its a mash-up of platitudes that people yell in detective thrillers as performed by a bucket of assholes. It’s an ungodly, incoherent atrociously acted mess of a film written by psychopathically dumb people who couldn’t sell a line to a three-sided square. If you could focus-test brain damage, this movie would score in the 90s.

    Epic opening to a review is Epic opening to a review.

  • Maguita NYC

    Correction, he would have punched "her" on the crotch and on her breasts.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/ent...

    On another Doctor Cross note, I used to LOVE those books. The first ones I read I remember really getting into them... And then Patterson lost his mojo. Alex Cross is supposed to look like a young Mohamed Ali, so oddly, I always pictured Will Smith for the role. Imagine my disappointment when first Morgan Freeman was cast, and then my horror when Tyler Perry cast himself. Have stopped reading after Violets Are Blue.

    Also, after Patterson started his Women's Murder Club in 1st To Die, I wondered if African Americans were insulted by how Patterson represented Alex Cross. In 1st to Die, the heroine is a tall 5'10 big-boobed slim beautiful woman, who has orgasms when a guy touches her thigh (I am not shitting you people, cannot invent that crap), and this, combined with how vapidly the other women were represented in the book, made me lose respect for Patterson and stop reading his work. So if Patterson is an absolute joke to women, I wonder if it is the same with black men...

    Sorry for the long post, but this Patterson/Doctor Cross situation has often made me wonder on how he is perceived by African Americans...

  • bbmcrae

    I read Kiss The Girls and wanted to scrub myself with a wire brush. It was rape porn trying to be Silence of the Lambs.

  • Maguita NYC

    I am quite sure if I ever re-read those first books, I would also be disgusted with the characters... Or lack thereof.

    I started reading Patterson very young, and his genre at the time was not yet part of main-stream pop culture. See, before all the Saw movies, the degeneration of Hostel movies and the genre, Patterson for the untrained and somewhat virginal brain (in physical torture and horror) was fresh in its sociopath empathy.

    Of course, the more you read the harsher your criticism becomes of what is palatable and what is not. That is how you recognize that indeed some books are forever great, and you chalk up the rest to poor diverse lit experience.

  • Guest

    I tried to read a Patterson once. The prose was so "See Dick run. Run, Dick, run!" I couldn't get more than three pages in. But then, I didn't read him when young, which as you suggest, makes all the diff.

  • e jerry powell

    Speaking for myself, I don't read James Patterson, so I don't have a valid opinion as to how he represents African-Americans, nor can I say that I particularly care.

  • bbmcrae

    So you posted....just 'cuz?

  • e jerry powell

    " So if Patterson is an absolute joke to women, I wonder if it is the same with black men..."

  • ,

    I'm sure Pookie can help you with this.

blog comments powered by Disqus



film / tv / lists / guides / box-office / news / love / celeb / video / think pieces / staff / TV Podcast / books / cbr




Trending


Follow Us



Related Posts




Viral Hits
Celebrity Facts

The Best TV & Movie Quotes

The Walking Dead

How I Met Your Mother

True Detective

Parks and Recreation

Cosmos

Hannibal

30 Practical Tips About the Horrors of Raising Children

25 Practical Tips About the Horrors of Raising Twins