Alex Cross **

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Back in 1997 there was an underrated thriller called “Kiss The Girls”. It was the first time I was introduced to the character of Alex Cross. Morgan Freeman was portraying the title role. His performance was focused, calm and deep. It carried the whole movie. He was about cracking cases by putting together clues in a methodical fashion. Freeman came back to play the character in the lesser “Along Came A Spider”.

Now the series is being rebooted with the new movie titled: “Alex Cross”. Tyler Perry takes on the main role. The director this time is Rob Cohen.

I think Tyler Perry is a fine actor but he does not succeed here mainly because of a hollow screenplay and the slam bang direction of Cohen. These movies are not meant to be violent action thrillers. They are supposed to be dark, hypnotic character studies that masquerade as a police procedural.

The story has Cross chasing down a vile sociopath played by Matthew Fox. Fox’s character enjoys inflicting pain. One of the pleasures of “Kiss The Girls” is that the villain was not seen until the end of the movie. He was heard in the backgrounds of scenes but only for effect. Here the killer has too much screen time. Seeing him and knowing so much about his moves and whereabouts seemed to kill off any suspense that could have happened.

“Alex Cross” is another example of a series that has been brought back from the dead and pumped up with chop shop editing and over the top action. The characters are one dimensional and seem to only serve the purpose of killing each other. I long for the days when thrillers weren’t so manufactured.

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