The level of writing in Alex Cross is inferior to that of your fourth-favorite TV cop show. Tyler Perry stars as a dapper Detroit police detective/psychologist on the trail of an assassin (a buff Matthew Fox) who's killing corporate types. Cross is eager to take a job in DC as a FBI profiler. But will he even have a future, now that he's in the crosshairs of a sadomasochistic hitman who, um, makes charcoal drawings of his victims? It gets personal when the perp guns down a member of Cross's family. Other than the cool choice of a decrepit theater as location for the final showdown, director Rob Cohen (xXx) works from the standard action playbook, down to the predictable "twist." Perry's limited range doesn't help. It's good for an actor to try a change of pace, but with each anguished look, each dramatic pause, Perry gives the impression that he has an invisible third hand patting himself on the back for courageously straying from Madea.