Alex Cross is an intriguing character, one born in an era of popular Airport novels, where an exhilarating mix of professionalism and escapism entertains many and inspires countless fantasies. Cross is a fictional police psychologist whose insights pit him against sinister foes, spawning over 25 books and two films with acclaimed actor Morgan Freeman playing the part. In 2012, audiences were reacquainted with the prolific police psychologist as the prequel to his times in the F.B.I. in Alex Cross.
We are introduced to Alex Cross at a crossroads in his life, his skills in the Detroit police department puts his colleges to shame. He is about to join the F.B.I. but still does not know if he can leave his old team behind. But when a fiendish assassin takes a shine to the brilliant police lieutenant starts making his final case a lot more personal. Has Cross met his match with this sadistic killer, and will his journey to take him down cost him everything?
Mostly focused on the city of Detroit, those familiar with the Alex Cross films might consider this a step down from the nation-spanning escapades of the previous films, yet Detroit city is a good playground for the action and investigation, with some notable landmarks serving as a compelling backdrop. Even with Cross’s entourage who seem almost jealous of their colleague (while engaging in an affair) but they make a good team and will probably be missed if the adventures of Alex Cross continues. We get a more intimate look into the family life of Cross, like his daughter and wife, more so than the loose hints that we got previously, helping humanise the character somewhat, though despite all these apparent changes, once back in action, it feels like Cross has never left the big screen.
Speaking of, taking over from Morgan Freeman, the younger Cross is inhabited by Tyler Perry, though out of his pond of comedy capering, he quickly adapts to the role, bringing a lot more action and intellectual intrigue to proceedings, which reflects Cross at an earlier point in his career. The first five minutes have a pseudo-montage reintroducing the audience to the core of the character, Cross is a keen profiler, who can deduce and match wits with the best of them. His foe played by Matthew Fox is an almost unstoppable assailant with physical prowess and depraved intellect. But that is not all we are treated to more star power by an appearance from John C. McGinley as Cross’s chief and Even the likes of Giancarlo Esposito appears as another intellectual adversary for Cross to face.
Alex Cross kicks off this reboot as a changed man, more aggressive and rawer than his subsequent adventures, yet keeping that pace and intrigue that made his prior efforts so engaging. The opportunity to develop this into a series of young Cross adventures is equally enticing. Rebooting a character after so long can be tough, but for Tyler Perry et al. Alex Cross attests to be an intriguing case to crack.
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