Along Came a Spider (2001)
Director: Lee Tamahori
Morgan Freeman/Alex Cross
Penelope Ann Miller/Katherine
A little girl (Boorem) gets kidnapped and Detective Somerset…oops…I mean Alex Cross (Freeman) is dragged onto the case by the kidnapper (Wincott). Cross winds up partnering with some boring secret agent (Potter) who feels responsible for the child’s abduction and the hunt is on! Yippee!
This movie is working on half a brain cell and it’s a damn shame. I actually could think of a few things I enjoyed about this turkey. For one, Michael Wincott (Soneji) is amazing as always. I love watching the guy and his key scene with Freeman (Cross) is a keeper (two good actors battling it out is always fun). Actually, every time they met we got some good times. The initial kidnapping is also pretty groovy (harsh). And I dug the opening credits and the smashing car accident (what a crash!) that followed. Too bad those positive things are dragged down into the gutter by the rest of the film. Here I go…
I liked the actress that plays the little girl (Mika Boorem) but hated that they made her so resourceful. Was she part of the A-Team? I was going along with her little tricks up until the end where the movie pushed it too far. I know she’s smart and all, but she’s still a kid! Taking into account what she’d been through, I doubt she'd have been so rational. Bottom line: I DIDN’T BUY IT!
I also can’t forgive this film for making me sit through some of the most horrible dialogue I have ever heard. What a corn fest! Freeman’s lines are the worst. He spouts bullcrap left and right like Yoda with a badge. And the funniest thing is that all the other agents follow him around like a bunch of horny teen groupies, they hang by his every word! This film makes the secret service look ridiculous!
The final stab was the inane plot turn towards the end. It’s cheap and way too easy. When I finished groaning about it, the flick slapped an even worse plot turn my way making me punch the seat in front of me in anger. Whoever is responsible for that last turn of events must really think that the average audience is filled with complete morons. It doesn’t make any sense! After the film, I tried to put it all together but all that did was give me a headache. I won’t give it away but I’ll say that Alex Cross is not merely a cop, he’s a damn psychic too.
The movie left me with these questions: 1- Do they let anybody into the secret service? 2- Does every low-life keep all of his plans on his computer desktop? 3- Can people really bide their time for years before putting their crooked idea into action? 4- Is Alex Cross GOD? He sure seems to know everything. 5- Where did Cross’s wife go for the rest of the film? And last but certainly not least...who approved all of the plot holes in the script??? I want answers!!!!
Like I said earlier, the film does have "some" good things. I really dug the phone-tag the kidnapper and Cross played to finally get to their meeting place (lifted from "Die Hard 3", BTW). And some of the action scenes were effective, but the rest of the film just ruined it. It stoops too low. Along comes The Arrow…with his butcher knife…
Bullets to the head is as bloody as we get.
Morgan Freeman (Alex Cross) is killing this part. He’s always doing the same thing! He’s on automatic pilot here. Will someone give him another "Shawshank Redemption" for the love of Mickey Rourke! Good talent is wasting here! Monica Potter (Jezzie) is a poor man’s Julia Roberts minus the charisma or the range. Can someone please slap her silly to remind her that she’s in a big budget movie! The girl is asleep at the wheel! My dog "Cactus" is more expressive than her! Wake up girl! Her and Freeman have ZERO chemistry together. Michael Wincott (Soneji) is a god. He comes out of this flick looking good and I had a blast with his performance. He takes a sympathetic approach to the character and I found it very original. I love the guy! Penelope Ann Miller (Katherine) cries…that’s it. Her career is officially over. Mika Boorem (Megan) is very credible as the kidnapped little girl but I didn’t buy her street smarts (not the actresses fault though). I will always remember Dylan Baker (Mayor Monroe) as the pedophile in "Happiness". That’s who he is to me. So yes, his presence could have been excluded.
T & A
Monica Potter doesn’t even give us a cleavage shot! Morgan Freeman keeps his shirt on too…(that’s good).
Lee Tamahori is officially washed up in my book. How can he go from "Once Were Warriors" to this? The film looks flat and hardly has any angles. It’s basically "medium shot", "wide shot" (reminded me of a TV movie). I will give the film this: the opening credits were kool, the slow motion bit worked and some of the lighting wuz groovy. But overall, a let down.
We get one of those "let's tell the audience how to feel" scores. It always booms up when we’re supposed to feel something. Obvious and overdone.
Up to the hour and fifteen minute mark, the flick was ok. Michael Wincott was saving it (for me anyways). But once the "clever" turns kicked in, the good things were washed away by the stinky sewage that followed. What an insult to my intelligence! The spider should’ve stayed home.
This movie was supposed to be released September 29th, 2000. But due to bad test screenings, they postponed its release, re-shot the ending and decided to open it on April 6, 2001.
This film is based on the book by James Patterson. He’s the same writer who wrote "Kiss The Girls". His Alex Cross character is in both books. I guess this is a prequel to "Kiss the Girls" since the Spider book came first.