Like the caterpillar who sheds his cocoon to become a butterfly, yet is still in his essence a caterpillar, Tyler Perry may have molted out of his Madea nightgown and put on a stifling suit to play James Patterson's criminal profiler Alex Cross, but he's still a creature of clichés at heart. The first in Rob Cohen's proposed reboot of the Cross franchise finds Perry taking over a role previously held by Morgan Freeman and nearly assumed by Idris Elba, but—as this trailer full of stock serial killer movie beats reveals—the film asks so little of its actors and its audience that even Tyler Perry could be in it. Or hey, maybe Tyler Perry and Ashley Judd could share the role and a wig, and trade off on breathing new life into warmed-over moments involving Matthew Fox's "ex-military, special forces" psychopath torturing people and taunting his pursuers, until the FBI cipher who was this close to retirement suddenly takes it personally and threatens to "meet him at the gates of Hell" and so on, explosion, car chase, etc. Still, the drab linearity of the plotline is somewhat livened up by the twisted, dead-man's-curves of gristle that are Matthew Fox now, so that's something.

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