HOLLYWOOD (WWJ)“When seeking out on a path of revenge, dig two graves.”

Those words spoken by the serial killer “Picasso” in the action thriller “Alex Cross,” starring Tyler Perry in the title role. Matthew Fox stars as Picasso, a killer who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal, and who will wipe out anything and anyone who crosses his path in the process.

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“Alex Cross” spent two weeks last year filming in Detroit, which is where the story takes place. Cross is a Detroit homicide detective/psychologist, who’s called upon to hunt down Picasso. And Detroit’s stamp on the film is apparent throughout. The truck Cross drives is a Chevy, a fleet of shiny, black Cadillac Escalades is used to chauffeur Detroit-based multi-national industrialist Giles Mercier (Jean Reno), and Picasso gets around town in a silver Cadillac CTS-V Coupe. In addition, the Detroit People Mover gets plenty of screen time; it’s used by Picasso to fire off a rocket launcher, and Detroit hip-hop star Trick Trick has a prominent ring-side role.

So will Perry’s fan base be accepting of him taking on such a serious role – one that is such a dramatic departure from the role his fans have come to know and love – namely, Madea? I’m willing to bet they are. Plus in the process, Perry will probably gain some new fans. And judging by the response the film received at an advance screening, he already has: when the movie ended and the credits started to roll, several people broke out in applause.

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While it can be easy to predict what’s coming up in some of the movie’s scenes, “Alex Cross” is still pretty entertaining; not spectacular, but entertaining enough. A lot of the fun for Detroiters will be watching the action unfold on the city’s streets and also hearing the actors make numerous references to Detroit. But it was also good to see one of Hollywood’s most enduring and successful actors (Perry) step away from his most familiar role (Madea) and take on a new challenge. And when it comes to bad guys, they don’t get any badder than Picasso. Fox played that role to the ummph degree (I’m sure you know what I mean).

“Alex Cross” is rated PG-13.

Check out some photos from the flick and I’ll see you at the movies!

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