, Newburyport, MA


October 25, 2012

'Alex Cross' feels like a painful trip to the dentist


The titular character is played by Tyler Perry, who is one behemoth of a producer and very good at what he does as long as it doesn’t involve acting. I haven’t seen any of the ‘Madea’ films, where Perry dons drag as an elderly black woman, but I’d imagine anything would be better than the stale, emotionless performance given by Perry in “Alex Cross.”

There’s a scene where he reacts to good news, and he may as well have been reading from the phone book. In a scene where he’s supposed to cry, you can sense the on-screen presence of interns adding fake tears to his eyes in between takes. But luckily for Perry, he isn’t the worst actor on screen — not by a long shot.

“Alex Cross” also proves that the bigger the supporting role played by bore-for-hire Edward Burns is, the worse the movie. I don’t understand how this guy keeps getting work.

And Matthew Fox, as the movie’s villain — a bug-eyed assassin named “The Butcher,” who looks like an emaciated crack head who mixed his junk with some bad steroids — offers up some of the worst acting I have seen this year. You can see the chewed scenery caught between his teeth the first second he appears on screen.

Like a low-budget TV police procedural mixed with the lamest action-movie formula, “Alex Cross” is a failed series opener that bores, tortures, and evolves into one of the most rushed and pathetic action climaxes I have seen this year (rivaled only by the complete lack of one in “The Bourne Legacy”).

There was apparently an earthquake during my viewing of the film but I never noticed. Shame. It would have been nice to feel something, anything, during “Alex Cross” — even if it was a roof coming down on my head.

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