The faded glory of Detroit makes for a moody background (the film was actually shot in Cleveland as well as Detroit). A decrepit theater-turned-parking garage, a fight club set in an abandoned church, and other creepy locales contrast nicely with high-tech corporate offices and the trappings of the uber-rich.

If you happen to step out for popcorn and miss any of the action, no worries. There’s a rap number over the end credits that reprises the whole story in a rhythmic, albeit profane, way. But don’t leave before the end of the actual movie—the final scene with Cicely Tyson (Because of Winn-Dixie), who plays Cross’s grandmother Nana Mama, will take the taste of vengeance out of your mouth.

Overall, Alex Cross is an interesting film; not nearly as gory as I feared it might be from the preview. For a story revolving around a guy who likes to torture people to death, it was remarkably pleasant to watch.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Multiple characters shown drinking alcohol at home and in a restaurant/bar setting. Comment “It’s bad luck to toast with water.” Victims injected with a “date rape” drug leaving them paralyzed but conscious; we see the injections take place.
  • Language/Profanity: Pretty much just one instance of each of the following: “up yours”, G-D, SOB, bi***, bast***, a**, he**, and the name of Jesus. If you stay through the credits, the s-word and other profanities are in the rap song played at the end.
  • Sex/Nudity: Innuendos about sex (“that other thing I like” and “pull your chip out”); kissing (married and unmarried couple); couple undress each other; man ties woman to bed (with her permission) for sex; slow undressing of woman; women shown in revealing underwear/swimwear; man shown with bare chest; unmarried couple shown in the act of sex under covers.
  • Violence: Significant amount of violence as it is a major part of the plot. Shootings, explosions, torture; woman’s finger is cut off (we later see a bowl of severed fingers); dead bodies; physical fighting to extremes; dangling off edge of building; multiple murders; man cauterizes wound in his own shoulder; pain is palpable in multiple scenes; man on fire; and other similar scenes.
  • Spiritual Themes: Revenge is a motivator but there’s a good conversation where one character warns another of the consequences, asking “how will you face your children after that?” Could be a good discussion starter. An unmarried couple has a sexual relationship in defiance of their employer’s rules and lies about it. One sequence could make an excellent object lesson on the dangers of bullying when a mouthy trio gets their comeuppance in a decisive but bloody way.

Publication date: October 19, 2012