The film tries to build a cat-and-mouse game between Cross and Picasso but doesnt do it very well. After his first murder, Picasso leaves a clue hidden in a drawing that identifies his next victim. Why he does this is anyones guess and its implausible to think hes targeting Cross to string him along because they really establish no connection between the two from the past.
The bad guy doesnt have a vendetta against Cross, or really know who he is, until meeting him face-to-face while Cross tries to prevent the murder that Picasso hinted about in his drawing.
Fox is strange in his villainous role. He puts on a good psychopathic voice and tough guy demeanor, but his weird spells that appear like seizures or waves of pain-induced euphoria are just puzzling and borderline comical.
Since the film takes place in Detroit, I got the sense that Director Rob Cohen wanted to highlight that citys current economic state or just its landscape. I didnt think he succeeded as well as someone like Spike Lee manages to do with his films set in New York City.
Cross is an interesting character, benevolent in wanting to help others, a good family man, and apparently a great detective and I was happy to see Perry in that kind of role. He looks odd sometimes carrying around a 12-guage shotgun, but he fits the part of a tenured detective well-enough.
The films other shady character, Leon Mercier, played by (Jean Reno), is supposed to play a large role but the films identity-crisis in the second-half leaves him too much on the sideline.
Cross abandons the plan and plot set out in the first half and goes full-on revenge mode after about 45 minutes. Then in the final 10, returns to the plot started in the first half and puts a little bow on everything, even if the journey from point A to point B is somewhat unclear.
The film could completely do without supporting character and Detroit Police Chief Richard Brookwell, played by John C. McGinley. You cant take him seriously at all and he just fits a stereotype of the police chief who wants to be Mayor and is more concerned with politics than doing police work.
He is there simply as a foil to the hardworking, justice-seeking Cross and Kane, nothing more, nothing less.
I cant speak to how all of this relates to the books, but looking back, Kiss the Girls in 1997 and Along Came a Spider in 2001, both starring Morgan Freeman as Cross, and both based on Pattersons novels, were much better movies.
Alex Cross is rated R and is now playing in local theaters with a runtime of 101 minutes.
Editor Patrick Hall may be contacted at email@example.com.