Monday, August 5, 2013

PCP on DVD - Alex Cross

The character of Alex Cross, as conceived by James Patterson in his popular book series, is one of my favorite characters. I've read every book in the series, and I am always game for a big screen adaptation. I was curious to see how this film would be, with Tyler Perry taking over the titular role from Morgan Freeman (Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls), not an actor I usually associate with an action film.

Alex Cross - 2012, rated PG-13.  My rating:  3 out of 10.

Wow, this movie was weak. It's not as bad as my rating of 3 indicates however. It would have a real rating of 5, were it not for the fact that it ruined the canon of a great character. If this film had been a generic cop thriller by any other name, or were I not familiar with the character of Alex Cross, it would've gotten a 5. However, I have read all of the books in the Alex Cross series. And the character portrayed in this film is not Alex Cross.

Here's a sampling of some of the many ways the film deviated from the canon of the books: 1) It is set in Detroit. Cross grew up in and operates in Washington DC.  2) Cross' best friend and partner in the film, Thomas Kane, is a white guy played by Edward Burns. In the books, his best friend and partner is a 6'8" black man named John Sampson.  3) While he's gone over the line towards questionable ethics in the books before in the name of justice, here Cross goes full on vigilante in the film, which feels like a major departure from the character.  Those three changes are just a small sample of the departures from the book series (I found one website that had 25 differences between the two), but they irked me greatly. Again, had the film had any other sort of title and name for the main character, it would've been a five, because it was a moderately entertaining cop thriller. But since it tarnished the name of a popular character I rather enjoy, I'm downgrading it to a three. Either way, this film isn't particularly that good, so don't waste your time.

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