Alex Cross is a 2012 crime-thriller directed by Rob Cohen (Dragon Heart, The Fast and the Furious, Stealth) based upon the Alex Cross series by James Patterson. Starring Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Edward Burns, Rachel Nichols and Jean Reno.
Detective and Forensic Psychologist Alex Cross investigates a gruesome murder and while his partner thinks it's the work of a psycho, Cross thinks it's an organized person. He eventually discovers he has another target and Cross figures out who it is and stops the killer before he gets him. The killer named "Picasso" retaliates against Cross directly and Cross vows to get him as he decides to break all the rules to do so.
This is the third feature film featuring the character of Alex Cross acting as a Prequel/Continuity Reboot. While in the previous films, the role was portrayed by Morgan Freeman, in this film the role is portrayed by Tyler Perry.
The film includes the following tropes:
- Action Prologue: The film opens with Alex, Tommy and Monica chasing after some random criminal in an Abandoned Warehouse.
- Artistic License Sports: The depiction of Mixed Martial Arts is pure fantasy. Picasso is allowed to step out of the crowd to fight "the champ" on a few minutes notice without weighing in. There are a dozen reasons why this wouldn't happen.
- "Awesome McCool" Name: Admit it, Alex Cross sounds like a great name.
- Character Title
- Chekhov's Gunman: That teenage female prisoner convicted of murder (which she didn't commit) that Alex talks to at the beginning. Alex visits her father and offers the two guns of evidence he and Tommy stole that could prove her guilty in return for a name of a chemist that would be able to supply the drug Picasso uses to torture people with.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: The Police Chief, several cops and fake Mercier are killed unceremoniously by Picasso when he blows the building they're next to with a bazooka from a moving train.
- The Film of the Book: It's very loosely adapted from the novel Cross but also has elements from later books in the series. The villain of the film himself is a combination between the series' villains The Butcher and Picasso.
- Fingore: Picasso removes all ten fingers from one of his victims.
- Forgotten Fallen Friend: Monica Ashe, Alex and Tommy's partner in the case who Tommy was dating, got tortured and killed by Picasso. But is only mentioned once briefly after her death.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: This film is surprisingly graphic in spite of it's PG-13 rating, the severed finger scene most notably.
- Gory Discretion Shot: We don't see most of the graphic violence, just it's aftermath. An example is earlier in the film, one of Picasso's victims, Fan Yau, is paralyzed and, later, we're shown her dead body with missing fingers.
- Infant Immortality: Despite the death of [spoiler: her mother]], Alex's daughter comes out unharmed.
- Large Ham: Matthew Fox seems to be enjoying himself as Picasso.
- The Man Behind the Man: Picasso's employer was Mercier himself. Having embezzled money from his clients, Mercier asked for Yau and Nunemarcher's help to fake his death and flee to Bali, and then hired Picasso to eliminate Yau, Nunemarcher and a double pretending to be himself to tie loose ends. His assistant, however, sold him out to Alex for immunity.
- Not in the Face!: Picasso warns his MMA opponent not to hit him there.
- The Profiler: One of Alex's main abilities, which allowed him to profile Picasso.
- Pun: The tagline is "Don't Cross Alex Cross".
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Once Picasso kills Cross' wife, all bets are off.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Monica and Maria pretty much exist just so their death's make it personal.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: After stopping Picasso from killing someone during the second act, Alex believes that he will not come after him or his team on the assumption that his goal is clear and concise and he wouldn't bother going after them. However, he does indeed go after them torturing one of his partners to death and later killing his pregnant wife.