Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Assassin!

alex cross

ALEX CROSS (2012) Director: Rob Cohen Starring: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Edward Burns, Rachel Nichols, Cicely Tyson, Jean Reno Rating: PG-13 for violence, gunplay, torture, and a ridiculous amount of General Motors product placement. 

Readers of mystery novels have probably heard of Alex Cross. For those of you who don’t know who he is, let me sprinkle some knowledge fertilizer on your mind grapes.

Created by prodigious author James Patterson, Alex Cross is a homicide cop/forensic psychologist who has battled bad guys and psychos in over a dozen novels. Like Sherlock Holmes, Cross is a master of deductive reasoning, so he can tell what you had for breakfast by the way you walk and knows how tall a killer is by looking at a crime scene photo. He must be a blast at parties!

Thanks to Hollywood (The movie makin’ folks!), the character Alex Cross has been in two movies, Kiss the Girls (1997) and Along Came a Spider (2001). In both  movies, Cross was played by veteran actor and narrator of everything Morgan Freeman.


Hello. I’m Morgan Freeman. I can read aloud the owners manual for a John Deere X700 Lawn Tractor and it will be amazing.

Since there are so many Alex Cross books to draw material from, it was inevitable that Hollywood (The movie makin’ folks, remember?) would make another film about the cunning detective. Since Morgan Freeman was probably busy narrating something at the time, they chose another actor to take over the role.

Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection-20120511-36

This guy.

Relax everyone.  Tyler Perry left the wig and dress at home to play hard nosed detective Alex Cross in Alex Cross, which is a shame because it would have been a real hoot watching Madea put the smackdown on the brutal assassin/serial killer who is making Cross’ life and the lives of everyone around him a complete nightmare.

But since the movie makin’ folks never take my advice, we have to settle for regular old non dress wearing Tyler Perry in Alex Cross.


As the film opens, Alex Cross (Perry) is loving life as a top Detective in sunny Detroit. And why not? He’s got a beautiful wife, two great kids, and a supportive Mom.  But before things turn into the best Insurance commercial ever, Cross and his partner Kane (Edward Burns) are called to a crime scene where the victim has been brutally tortured and the killer has left behind a clue in a chalk drawing done in the style of the late great Pablo Picasso. Cross deduces from the clue who the next victim is, and because he is a brilliant movie detective, dubs the killer “Picasso”, because “murder/torture guy” doesn’t have the right ring to it and is probably a character in another Alex Cross book.

And so begins a cat and mouse game between Cross and Picasso, a psychotic assassin who is targeting French Industrialist Giles Mercier (Jean Reno)and will stop at nothing to get him.

Picasso is played by Matthew Fox (that Lost series) who according to production notes went on a strict exercise and diet program to play the super ripped bad guy. Since Fox plays Picasso as a bug eyed lunatic who walks around like a coiled cobra ready to strike, it’s obvious he was half out of his mind from hunger while filming. I bet the poor guy had to be physically restrained from charging the snack table between takes.


Is that a… jelly doughnut?

Things get messy in the second half of the movie when Picasso, who has a huge problem with nosy cops who want to stop him from maiming and killing, begins targeting Cross’ family for maiming and killing. Will Cross keep it together long enough to stop Picasso, or will he put the law in his back pocket and take out this maniac his own way?

And no, he doesn’t dress up as Madea and put the smackdown on the killer like I wanted him to because as I said before the movie makin’ folks don’t take my advice!

They don’t return my e-mails either. Thanks a lot, stupid court order!

Alex Cross isn’t a particularly exciting or original crime thriller type movie. Matter of fact, it’s not very good at all.

But, if you’re home one night with your best pals and are looking for a good time, pop Alex Cross into the DVD player, pass out the shot glasses, and play the Alex Cross General Motors Product Placement Drinking Game!

Do a shot every time a GM vehicle (Cadillac, GMC, Chevy, etc) appears on screen.

Do a shot when a logo of a GM vehicle appears  on screen.

Do a shot when the characters actually discuss the OnStar navigation system – available on many GM vehicles – during a freaking car chase!

Do a shot when the name of a GM vehicle is mentioned in a song playing in the background in a scene!

If you’re still conscious when the end credits roll, you are my hero.


About Tom Levier

Tom is a New Jersey native who lived in New York City for a while, and is now back in the Garden State. He is creator and writer of Central Park: A Misguide, DVD Critics Corner!, and The Gallows. Please read, comment on, and subscribe to his blogs. It would make him very happy. When not writing, Tom enjoys making jewelry and other handmade items for his shop Cold Garage Creations. Check out his shop on Etsy! https://www.etsy.com/shop/ColdGarageCreations

Posted on August 27, 2013, in Action Movies, Crime Drama, Humor, Movie Reviews, Movies, Netflix, Reviews, Thrillers and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Loved the headline for this review! 😉

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