ALEX CROSS – DRESSER
“Alex Cross” should be called – “Alex Cross-Dresser” and boy is it one weird, messed up movie.
Having never seen a Madea movie before, I went into this movie cold. I try to limit my reading on a film before I see it so as to keep the story fresh. That said, I did read somewhere that Madea (her real name is Mabel Simmons) was cross-dressing as a man for this film in which she stars in the titular role of Alex Cross, whom we should all know is from the ridiculously popular series of books by James Patterson and all his co-writers (ghost-writers?) these days.
Alex Cross-Dresser is confusing since Madea, in drag as a man here, pretends to be a detective in Detroit who also happens to be married with two children. I distinctly remember seeing a few other Alex Cross movies with Morgan Freeman in the lead role so I guess I will need to willingly suspend my sense of disbelief. I think they call this a reboot, or something. Anyway back to this new and improved Alex Cross.
Alex works with the Brother McMullen in the Detroit Police Department tracking down bad guys. Guess who the main bad guy they have to get is? None other than Charlie Salinger! From Party of Five, remember him? Hello Nineties. I was like WTF?!? Why is Charlie all crazy now? When we first see him we see he’s bald with crazy staring eyes. He goes into this church where there is MMA fighting happening, perfectly natural for a church, no? He bribes a dude to let him fight in the octagon. He then beats the crap out of this fighter in order to catch the eye of this Chinese pop-star lady in the front row. I wondered what that gal was doing there but next thing you know Charlie is back at her mansion tying her up for some sexy-time. For a little foreplay he drugs her and starts cutting off her fingers. Man, I couldn’t watch. It was messed up, big time, I just kept wondering how did he go from being a cook in San Francisco to this batshit crazy fighter guy?
Next, Madea and Brother McMullen are on the case to find Charlie before he kills more people. Their police chief is none other than Dr. Perry Cox from Scrubs, hey, dude’s gotta work since the show has been off the air for a few years. Cox is deaf in this movie as he screams all of his lines as if everyone was 50 yards away from him. It was horrible, luckily he only has a few scenes. Madea continues her ruse as this super-smart doctor/detective Alex Cross guy. He knows that Charlie is bonkers but he’s sure that there’s NO WAY he would come after them. WRONG. Madea’s wife gets capped by Charlie and so does this detective lady that works with them whose been secretly doing it with Brother McMullen against company policy. Oh noes! Sadness all around as both McMullen and Madea’s significant others are now dead but you know what’s crazy? They never talk about the detective lady again. Madea cries all of the time that her wife is dead but Brother McMullen hardly says a word about the cute detective gal that he was schtupping.
Man, where was I? Oh, that’s right, Madea and Brother McMullen get back on the case and they track down some nutty German guy who lives in a skyscraper. Apparently Charlie wants to kill him and some mysterious French guy. They foil Charlie’s hit attempt on the German and then they go to see the French guy. The whole time this is going on Madea keeps trying to decide if she wants a job with the FBI in Washington D.C. She’s gonna be just like everyone else and flee the dying metropolis of Detroit. I thought to myself she’s a dick, didn’t she see Detropia? Detroit is hurting, man. Whatever, I can’t figure out this Madea person anyway. I thought once the cover wife died she’d stop cross-dressing but she never does. She stays “in character” as a dude through the whole movie.
Madea and Brother McMullen locate the Frenchman and you know who it was? That bad-ass hitman from The Professional! NOW IT’S ON BITCHES I yelled at the screen until I noticed The Professional looked like Fat Elvis and Marlon Brando combined. He wasn’t gonna kick anyone’s ass let alone crazy Charlie who is coming for him. Madea talks with The Professional and tells him Charlie is after him. The Professional seems concerned but he’s got some elaborate plan he wants to unleash that would save all of Detroit. Good, the city needs it; so why does Charlie want to kill him? Madea can’t figure it out and Brother McMullen is dumb as a box of rocks and most of the scenes where he talks it just sounds like someone is letting air out of a bike tire so it’s difficult to understand him.
Now our heroes got nothing. They go back to work trying to track down Charlie and they come close. Madea, remember she’s super smart, tracks down the local chemist who makes Charlie’s knock out drug which then leads them to discovering the dope Caddy he drives which leads them to Charlie’s lair but he’s already gone. They do some more detective work only to discover The Professional is giving some speech downtown and that Charlie will kill him. They rush downtown just in time to see Charlie firing off a rocket launcher out of a lite rail car and blowing up all kinds of stuff. An exciting chase leads to the big showdown fight between Charlie and Madea in the burnt out husk of the old Michigan Theater which is now appropriately a car park. The big fight scene is as confusing as all of the robot fights in those Michael Bay GoBots movies with action so fast & cuts so quick you can’t keep track of what’s going on. Then the movie wraps up rather quickly and even ends with a Scooby-Doo Villain scene where everything that wasn’t spelled out in bold letters on a billboard in the narrative already is all tied up in a pretty little story.
Crazy huh? I mean I tried my best here to keep everything straight but it’s all one big jumble. One really striking feature of the movie was how sparkling clean the filmmakers make Detroit look. It’s all shiny buildings and brand new GM cars, a real Obama America ad of a movie with no real world concerns creeping in here, take that Detropia! I guess I expected more from director Rob Cohen of xXx, Fast and the Furious and Dragonheart fame. There’s also word that Madea is signed up for a sequel and the movie’s only been out a few days.