(Early look at Patterson's famous crime fighter)
Joyce has read just about every one of James Patterson's novels starring Dr. Alex Cross, crimefighter and family man who uses his doctor of psychology to solve his cases.
I've enjoyed Morgan Freeman in a couple of movies based on the fictional character, especially "Kiss the Girls.” Hollywood now gives us a look at early Alex Cross, still a Detroit detective with a young family. Tyler Perry (sans dress) steps far away from his Madea role to play Cross, and he does a decent job.
The violence that Patterson writes about in the book comes across as much more vivid and ghastly on the big screen, leaving little to our imagination. Cross is chasing a sociopathic, pain-inducing serial killer (Matthew Fox), who they have labeled Picasso because he leaves weird drawings next to his savagely tortured victims. There's lots of action and chase scenes, and blood and gore before the case is finally solved and Picasso gets what is coming to him.
Cicely Tyson plays Gramma-Mama, who has a bigger role in later Alex Cross novels, and Edward Burns plays Cross's partner.
A family member is murdered and Cross is filled with sadness, guilt, rage and revenge.
Why is this crazed man killing all these seemingly innocent people?
Cross digs deep and discovers the involvement of a French businessman (Jean Reno), and the plot begins to unfold in a bit of a stretch.
Patterson's novels are easily translated to the screen, but one only wishes the filmmakers didn't have to be so graphic.
Rated PG-13 in spite of the extreme violence.