Starring: Tyler Perry, Edward Burns, Matthew Fox, Rachel Nichols, Jean Reno, Cicely Tyson, John C McGinley, Giancarlo Esposito
Directed by: Rob Cohen
The plot: Detective Alex Cross and his partner Tommy Kane are called to a grisly murder scene. Businesswoman Fan Yau has been tortured and slain, and her bodyguards shot dead. Cross deduces that one man is responsible for the carnage - sadistic assassin Picasso - whose ultimate target appears to be billionaire CEO Leon Mercier. As the Detroit police close in on their wily prey, Picasso retaliates by targeting the cops' families and friends.
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The only appeal here is the sick kick of watching a franchise blow itself to bloody stumps.
The director acquits himself on the action front, but makes the simple procedural elements feel wooden and melodramatic, particularly in sappy home-life scenes.
You almost feel sorry for Tyler Perry, stepping out of his own universe for the first time to try to expand his range and finding himself in something as thoroughly dismal as Alex Cross.