I once heard the film critic Richard Roeper describe a horror film as “a loud dumb mess”. I had no idea critics could be so free in presenting their views of a film (although “Hollywood Shuffle” shows best how it could be done). This isn’t a horror movie we’re talking about, however, but the film adaption of author James Patterson’s novels featuring character Alex Cross, played by Tyler Perry of the “Madea” franchise. The critics, however, are still as… blunt when it comes to Perry’s film, which you might have guessed isn’t a big hit so far. A typical description: “a heaping pile of garbage” (Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle). Ouch.
Perhaps Stephen Colbert read some of those reviews before Perry’s appearance on his program and felt it necessary to bow his head in prayer for the film’s success? Yes, Mr. Perry and Mr. Colbert actually prayed on “The Colbert Report” on Wednesday, which may or may not be a first for the satirical news program. Check out the interview at Comedy Central.
In case you’re looking for a full critique of the “Alex Cross” film, here’s something to start you off from The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis, who notes that the “ineptitude of ‘Alex Cross’ can’t be pinned only on Mr. Perry.”
That question will flicker through the heads of those who watch Tyler Perry try to fill Mr. Freeman’s trench coat as the title character here. A grim, dispiritingly stupid waste of time, energy, money and talent, directed by Rob Cohen, this is the first installment in what one of its producers warned Entertainment Weekly would be “the new Tyler Perry franchise, a worldwide one.” Good luck with that, bud. Because in order to sucker anyone into watching a sequel, you will need to fire the writers and the director. And then you will need to help Mr. Perry rethink his performance, which lacks both nuance and the majestic, uncompromising wrath that makes Madea so memorable, a fury that’s philosophically epitomized in a line from “Madea Goes to Jail”: “If the gotters get me I’m gonna get my Glock.”
“Alex Cross” opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, Oct. 19. It’s unfortunate critics are basically calling it a “loud dumb mess”, as Mr. Perry expressed in a message on his website dated Oct. 10 his hopes for the film:
“Can you tell how excited I am about Alex Cross? I told James Patterson very early on that if I thought that I couldn’t do it, I would have turned the role down when it was offered to me. I didn’t want to let him down, the Alex Cross fans down, or let you down. Now, with all that said, I JUST WANT YOU TO GO TO THE MOVIES AND SEE IT FOR YOURSELF!!! Alex Cross is a thrill ride from beginning to end. With movies, a lot of times the trailer is better than the movie. Not in this case. Alex Cross delivers on so many levels. You won’t be disappointed. I can’t wait for you to see it! You be the judge! YOU BE THE JUDGE!!”
Whether “Alex Cross” bombs or sails at the theaters this weekend won’t really impact Perry’s career too much I don’t think — after all he has his own studio, writes plays, directs…
- Chat with the Stars: Tyler Perry in ‘Alex Cross’ (fox4kc.com)
- Tyler Perry And James Patterson Finalizing Alex Cross Film Sequel With QED: Exclusive (deadline.com)
- ALEX CROSS to Become Tyler Perry’s Legit Cinema Huckleberry (badassdigest.com)