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Originally, Idris Elba was slated to play the role of Cross, but somehow, he was replaced by mega-producer and character actor Tyler Perry. Many critics doubted whether Perry had the acting chops to turn in the performance that the character required, and now the reviews are in.
The first review comes from Variety:
From Bond to Bourne, bona fide action stars don’t get nearly enough credit for their acting, an injustice that has seldom been clearer than when watching Tyler Perry strain his way through “Alex Cross.” The cross-dressing “Madea” star seems out of his depth playing the hard-boiled detective made famous by Morgan Freeman in “Along Came a Spider” and “Kiss the Girls.”
Screen Daily offers another dismal review:
Unfortunately, once Cross makes the decision to step outside the boundaries of his job to kill Picasso, Perry proves less plausible, overdoing his character’s avenging-angel darkness in such a way that suggests the actor simply doesn’t possess the grit or world-weariness to pull off Cross’s transformation.
Many people appreciate Tyler Perry for what he does well, which is create movies for blacks by blacks. His hilarious Madea character evoked the common sense that black elders have passed down through the ages. And Why Did I Get Married put middle class black couples center stage, something you don’t often see on the mostly white silver screen.
But it may be time for Tyler Perry to either grow or stick with what he knows. In playing Cross, and trying to fill Morgan Freeman’s shoes, Perry waded into waters that were beyond his depth. If the early reviews are any indication, that was a mistake.