One other directing choice that I disagreed with is during the hand to hand combat sequence at the end - the camera switches to very jumpy hand held, with strange slow motion pieces thrown in. These do not enhance the action in any way - and the effect had not been used at all up to that point, which really made it feel out of place.
The cast of this movie does a good job:
- Tyler Perry again proves he certainly can do things that are not necessarily his own pieces. He is a good actor and will really only get better over time. To be honest, I wouldn't mind him doing another Alex Cross movie, I think that this could develop into a strong franchise.
- Edward Burns plays his partner and best friend, Tommy Kane (who in the books is named John Sampson - at least, they seem to be the same character). Burns is always entertaining (if you haven't seen Confidence - rent it now) and plays the supporting role here with ease. The friendship between the two of them is relaxed and believable.
- Rachel Nichols plays Monica Ashe, the third member of their detective unit. I had previously seen her in Alias (that weird last season) and GI Joe. She's capable in this, but doesn't have a lot to do.
- Giancarlo Esposito, who of late has been amazing on Breaking Bad and Revolution, plays a local Detroit hood who runs a car dealership (there's lots of Cadillacs and other GM cars in the dealership shots - plus Cadillac wall decor). He is the 'bad man' Cross turns to for help when beginning to question how far he will go to solve this case. Aside from having one of the most fun names to say (go ahead and say Giancarlo Esposito out loud a few times... then Benedict Cumberbatch, then Chiwetel Ejiofor - what I wouldn't give for them all to be in a movie together) he's a great actor and fun in the little scene he has in this movie.
- Jean Reno plays the french businessman who has an amazing plan to re-vitalize Detroit. He may or may not be the killer's next target, so Cross and team have to figure out how to protect him while he goes from meeting to meeting in his Cadillac. He's good (see the Professional if you haven't - but don't bother with the Godzilla remake) but doesn't quite seem to fit in this movie, but maybe that's the point.
- John C. McGinley plays the police chief, which seems to involve a lot of barking orders and standing with hands agressively placed on hips - you know, like every movie police chief ever. He was great in Office Space and on Scrubs and is fine in this, but again - not a ton to do.
- Carmen Ejogo plays Cross's wife - spoiler alert - she doesn't make it. But that's necessary to give Cross the push towards stepping out of bounds to catch the killer.
- Cicely Tyson, who has been in many Tyler Perry movies, plays Nana Momma - Cross's grandmother, a character from the books. She's playing a character you've seen her play before, but that's fine, because she's good at it.
- That brings me to Matthew Fox as Picasso - the psychotic, hitman for hire. Fox lost a ton of weight for this role and really, really - I mean really - commits to it. I'm not sure that level of committment was necessary. He stands out in the movie, but not necessarily in a good way. He's crazy, but the performance is so over the top, that you're more annoyed by him than you are scared of him. He certainly succeeded in creating a memorable character, though. And again, he drives a really nice Cadillac (seriously, at one point he turns on the radio in the car and it's playing a song with a lyric about Cadillacs - I couldn't make that up if I wanted to).
5 out of 10: Lost points for the non-stop Cadillac references. I get it - you're in Detroit and Cadillac gave you money for the movie - enough! Gained points for the PG13 rating. I so appreciated it with this movie...in an R movie, the killing, maiming, and murder would have all been amped up to a level I have no interest in seeing. Lost points for Matthew Fox being just too much.
Bonus Video 1: Giancarlo Esposito has been in many Spike Lee movies - in fact, he was Buggin' Out in Do The Right Thing:
Bonus Video 3: Kenan Thompson as Tyler Perry on SNL: "I own Atlanta!" Hilarious.