Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Alex Cross Surprises, But Leaves One Plot Hole

Cast of Alex Cross: Matthew Fox, Tyler Perry, Rachel Nichols, Edward Burns

Alex Cross surprised me, as I assume it did most. 

We don’t see Tyler Perry much outside of the Madea movies, and that’s why movie goers were unsure if Tyler Perry could hold us in an action thriller, playing Alex Cross. Well he did.

Alex Cross was a pretty good movie, but had one plot hole (which I will get to in a minute).

Matthew Fox played the villain “Picasso” in this movie, and he did an excellent job. He trimmed down for this role, leaning down to all muscle, playing a sociopath ex-military killer that enjoys torturing people.
Picasso first enters a secret fight club, held in a former church building, and bets $10,000 on himself. He beats the opponent, while eyeing an Asian woman who is watching the event.

She takes him to her home, which is protected by armed guards. He sneaks his gun in because it is inside his shoe. He injects the Asian woman with a drug, and kills the guards. He then returns to torture her, so he can find out her computer password. He stayed at her residence long enough to draw a Picasso-like charcoal picture of her, and left it behind at the crime scene.

Alex Cross deduces that this is the work of one man, not a gang.

Let’s backtrack for a minute.

Actor Edward Burns plays Alex Cross’ best friend, Thomas Kane. It is revealed early on that Thomas Kane is having a physical relationship with a female member in the unit, Monica Ashe (played by Rachel Nichols). You may recognize her from her role as Scarlett in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Thomas is unsure that he is ready to tell Alex that he is in a relationship with Monica; however Alex is able to tell the moment that he picks Thomas up in his Suburban.

Picasso then breaks into a large corporation in downtown Detroit, as Alex, Thomas, and Monica are investigating a lead left behind by Picasso. The elegant waterfall water slows and then stops. The German guards are flabbergasted, since nothing like that has ever happened before. They weren’t going to let Alex or his team in the building, but this emergency prompts them to figure out what is going on.

Meanwhile, Picasso is traveling up the water pipe in a lean scuba outfit. He is trying to get to the CEO’s office. When the power goes down, Alex takes a shotgun and looks around for Picasso. Thomas and Monica guard the CEO, until he hits a panic button, slamming down a large steel door. Monica is shut out, and Thomas is trapped in the room with the CEO, who swears it can only be opened from the outside by security guards. Thomas threatens him, until he re-opens the door. Alex has another encounter with Picasso, catching him off guard. Picasso lays down his gun but ejects a mine from his belt.

It blows up, blasting Monica through a window onto a large conference table. Alex took cover under a conference desk.

Picasso gets away, and learns the identity of Alex, Thomas, and Monica.

Monica returns to her apartment. Picasso is waiting. He uses her phone to call Alex, who is eating out with his pregnant wife. Picasso says he is not impressed with Alex’s tie, which says he is watching Alex. Alex scrambles to protect his wife, who is seating outside, but it is too late. Picasso shoots her with a scoped rifle.
Stop here. Alex Cross takes a vengeance on Picasso from this point on.

But, one major hole now looms in the movie.

Monica is still missing.

The movie carries on. There is a funeral for Alex’s wife. They continue to follow leads, but there is not another mention of Monica over a period of days. For all we know, she is dead.

Alex Cross was better than I thought, but I couldn’t help but wonder why they never found Monica, or revealed that she was found and is okay. 

Excuse me, if anyone finds Monica tied up somewhere, please free her. Everyone seemed to forget that she was kidnapped. There's a good chance she won't be in the sequel, if they can't find her in the first movie.

Rachel Nichols playing Monica Ashe in Alex Cross

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Can Kevin Bacon Keep 'The Following' Alive?

James Purefoy as Joe Carroll
FOX's new show 'The Following' is disturbing and gory. FOX has always been known for wanting to be edgy.

Is 'The Following' edgy enough? 

Each episode give the viewer a heavy dose of blood and gore, as we following a cult that kills out of reverence for their leader in prison - Joe Carroll. Joe views it as art. His followers take up his 'cause and kill, often taking out the eyeballs, as referenced in Edgar Allen Poe literature. This show is heavy on innocent people dying, at the hands of a cult following.

Had enough yet?

The problem with this serial killer drama is that the cast is mostly unknown. Sure, we recognize an X-man here and there. Shawn Ashmore is in the show, as a rookie. Other than that, James Purefoy reminds us of our favorite X-man, Wolverine. Sorry folks, it is not Hugh Jackman.

The lackluster cast in this serial killer drama fails to keep us coming back. We don't know Anna Parise, playing Ryan Hardy's expert on cults. Natalie Zea plays James Hardy's past love interest, but honestly, we don't care. The story just doesn't excite viewers. If we want dead bodies, we can turn on CSI.

Let's face it, Kevin Bacon is entrusted to carry the show. His character is an alcoholic, that had to leave the FBI because he was stabbed in the heart by Joe Carroll. Now he wears a pacemaker. He is a retired agent, brought back to catch a killer.

There's not much more to say about 'The Following' other than the obvious: '24' fans are going to be very disappointed with this drawn out drama that does keep us interested.

Kevin Bacon is a good actor, but he just isn't that good to carry this show. 'The Following' is a dud. We like watching Kevin Bacon, but a crippled Kevin Bacon is not entertaining.

It appears that FOX would have gone over budget to hire a full cast of recognizable actors and actresses.

Kevin Bacon will not be able to keep 'The Following' alive all by himself. Let it die. Bring back Terra Nova.

Terra Nova was entertaining, even without the big names. 'The Following' is dark and gloomy, and the story does not leave us wanting to watch more.

Kevin Bacon meets The Iceman, Shawn Ashmore in The Following
Kevin Bacon drinking water in The Following

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