Alex Cross

Howard Markowitz
Assistant Professor of Psychology at Hawaii Pacific University

Where and with whom did you see the movie?

I saw it by myself at Consolidated Theatres in Hawaii Kai (Koko Marina).


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Howard Markowitz

Overall what did you think?

It is an almost predictable combination of violence and the forces of good. The story is driven by the same formulas we have seen in countless cop movies before, thus giving it a kind of lazy, predictable feeling despite the great star power of Cicely Tyson, Edward Burns and, my favorite, Jean Reno (from The Professional).

Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes?

When Alex Cross decides to not play by the rules and go after the psychopath Picasso, using not only his guns and brawn, but also his training as a psychologist.

On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film?

★ 1/2.

What did you think of the cinematography?

The chase scenes and fight scenes were exciting, and the city of Detroit was used skillfully as almost a character in itself.

Was the message/theme clear?

Yes, and it’s not complicated. It’s that evil is among us, that it must be stopped, sometimes by any means possible, even if good people must become temporarily bad.

Did it remind you of any other work in film?

Yes. Mostly the Lethal Weapon movies, but without the occasional slips of humor.

The cop-buddies relationship between Perry and Burns was just not that interesting; it just did not serve the movie in any significant way.

To whom would you recommend this movie?

Folks who enjoy crime thrillers and action movies. Not appropriate for children.

Did any of the actors stand out?

Definitely Matthew Fox as the psychopathic, avenging assassin who has a particular thing for pain. Unfortunately, Perry’s other role as a psychologist did not play a significant role in the unfolding of the film, unlike for example, Morgan Freeman’s portrayal of the same Alex Cross in Kiss the Girls or Jodi Foster in Silence of the Lambs.

Did you identify with any of the characters?

Only when Alex Cross had to do what he had to do – to seek revenge and save the good people of Detroit. In order to do that, Cross had to step outside of his law enforcement persona, which is what also made Clint Eastwood’s and Bruce Willis’ movies so popular. Sometimes “taking the law into your own hands” and sometimes “the ends do justify the means” are credos that have been appealing to all of us at one time or another – and especially to Hollywood.

Did the soundtrack contribute significantly to the film?

Yes, but only in the beginning and during chase scenes.

Very techno, hollow, steel-like pounding sounds reminiscent of the car factories of the Motown that is Detroit.

What’s your favorite movie snack?

Popcorn, as the main course, followed by Junior Mints for dessert.