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Tyler Perry doesn't feel right as super-detective 'Alex Cross'

Movie Review
By: Frank Miller Gold Country News Service
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“Alex Cross”

Director: Rob Cohen       

Starring: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox and Edward Burns

Rating: One out of five stars

Tyler Perry’s name is its own brand that comes with certain preconceptions about what type of movie you are about to watch.

However, when he appears in something that he neither wrote or directed (which is rare), it’s like seeing your teacher outside of the classroom - something just doesn’t feel right about it.

“Alex Cross” stars Perry as the titular detective, based on a series of novels by James Patterson. Cross was previously portrayed by Morgan Freeman in the films “Kiss the Girls” and “Along Came a Spider.”

Cross is a super-detective in the vein of Sherlock Holmes, able to sniff out clues and stay many steps ahead of his peers and enemies.

However, when an equally intelligent killer named Picasso (Matthew Fox) makes things personal for Cross, the two men engage in a cat-and-mouse battle of wits in order to gain the upper hand.

The problems with the film are mainly in the slipshod script and ham-fisted directing by Rob Cohen, who brought you such cinematic masterpieces as  “XXX” and “Stealth.”

It also doesn’t help that, once the novelty wears off, Perry isn’t that compelling as an actor. He’s looks uncomfortable with someone else’s words coming out of his mouth and never settles into a groove with any of his costars.

Fox is somewhat interesting because of the physical transformation he underwent in order to play the killer. All sinewy muscles and gaunt cheekbones, Fox really commits to the role and the film feels energized during his scenes.

However, the film suffers from a lack of real drama and anything resembling fun. It’s one boring scene after another that fails to engage on any basic level.

Perry should be commended for stepping out of his comfort zone, but it was a misguided turn in the wrong direction. For now, it’s probably best for everyone that he sticks to his own projects.