By: John ThomasStaff Writer
There’s a number that you really need to keep in mind throughout this review: eight. Well, at least eight. That’s the amount of sleep, in hours, I had the night before I went to see Tyler Perry star in Rob Cohen’s “Alex Cross.” During the course of the film, I got an hour or so more. I understand that you’re probably a little miffed by this. It’s entirely unprofessional. Not only did I doze through the majority of a film that you, the reader, had expected me to give a review on for a variety of reasons, from economic to cultural, but on top of that, I’m sure you’re just fuming over the fact that I slept through a Rob Cohen film. A Rob Cohen film, for god’s sake. Rob Cohen, the fixture of cinema behind “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,” “Dragonheart,” and “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.” In normal circumstances, I would agree with all these accusations and accept whatever punishment my readership saw fit – but you weren’t there. You don’t know what I went through. It was a sort of intellectual catharsis, as if I had sacrificed a bit too much of the taste I had spent my 18 years cultivating just by sitting in that theatre. “Alex Cross”’ can’t find a compelling plot point in its first act, not a single one. Cross is supposedly a genius, but everything he points out is painfully obvious to the audience, and all of his actions are just as predictable. From pointing out that his wife was drinking coffee because she had a huge frickin’ coffee stain on her shirt, to catching a criminal through cleverish running maneuvers, Alex Cross is the most boring penal prince ever to grace the silver screen. The villain, played by Matthew Fox, is even worse. Again, I didn’t end up seeing the majority of this exercise in futility, but the last thing I remember is Fox slowly torturing a woman for answers. A woman, who I might add, was hanging out alone at a cage match, and then proceeded to invite Fox’s character, who has been throwing out total psychopath vibes throughout the entire sequence, to her home. This whole women-getting-savagely-killed-by-men-because-they’re-stupid trope needs to stop. If I hadn’t been nearly entranced into slumber by the dead poor directing, I might have even walked out of the theater. Instead, that last scene just sent me off into a very angry sleep. I have to wonder, if Cross’ caliber of service is expected only of the department’s most special, smart and super-top cop, then I think we need to send the National Guard to Detroit immediately. Well we should probably send them anyway, because Detroit needs some sort of help. I should have probably already told you that “Alex Cross” takes place in Detroit, Michigan. That’s probably the film’s only redeeming quality. Well, you probably wouldn’t find it redeeming, but I’m a fan of Detroit because I love the former HBO show “Hung,” which also takes place in Detroit. However, even if you like Detroit as much as I do, that is not reason enough to see this movie. I cannot stress that fact enough. Before “Alex Cross,” I had never seen anything that had an even transient connection to Tyler Perry, and now I never will again. The premise is so tired that it put me to sleep, but at least it’s expectable. The acting, direction and misogyny is less than expectable. Maybe you should go see this film, though. I wasn’t able to keep my eyes open during the whole thing, but I know some just live for challenge.