Along Came a Spider

Review Date:
Director: Lee Tamahori
Writer: Marc Moss
Producers: David Brown, Joe Wizan
Morgan Freeman
Monica Potter
Michael Wincott
A bad guy kidnaps a little girl and teases a down-and-out detective with some clues. Soon thereafter, the detective hooks up with a secret service agent, who was in charge of overlooking the girl, and the duo set out to catch the psycho.
I might’ve actually recommended this movie for video viewing if it weren’t for its final 15-20 minutes, in which several “convenient” plot twists (aka holes) basically turn this film into mush. How a great actor and a director who has shown such admirable skill in his previous work (ONCE WERE WARRIORS and THE EDGE) could’ve associated themselves to a project so generic and predictable during its first half and ridiculous and far-fetched in its second half, is beyond me. Yes, Morgan Freeman can play a great detective, but does he have to keep proving this point to us every other year? Actually, I wouldn’t really have minded his redundancy if the film was a solid effort on the whole, but sadly, it just falls apart under its own overbearing weight of irrationality. I mean, when a detective goes into someone’s apartment, sits down in front of a computer, can’t access any files because of a password, and devises the keyword by thinking back to a random moment he shared with the owner of the apartment, types in the words that he remembered and is right on, in one shot…well, that’s just plain stupid! I mean, what are the friggin’ chances that those words are the exact password, dude!?! C’mon…give the audience just a little more credit than that!

And even though I did greatly admire this film for attempting to do something original with its ending (a couple of neat twists and turns), it’s all in a wasted effort since the plot points simply do not stick! I mean, it’s nice to surprise an audience but when they don’t buy the actual basis behind the surprise, well then, it’s pretty much worth shit, right? And I’m not exactly sure what Hollywood sees in actress Monica Potter, but to me, she’s basically a charmless version of Julia Roberts in a blonde wig and half the talent. I mean, there ain’t much happening there (other than the great looks, of course). No zing, no zang. And even though Morgan Freeman plays another solid detective role, the film’s slow pace and ultimate illogical turns, just don’t keep you in the game long enough to care. I mean, I might see this movie slightly entertaining some who are willing to forego its goofy twists and leaps of faith, but I think most people want stories that are believable and realistic, right? And even though most of this film does give us that, it’s generally just photocopied moments from other movies, with some spots of bad dialogue, a pretty good score and an ending which certainly goes for the gold, but falls plenty short. Sure, Michael Wincott was a blast to watch, and his gravelly voice enjoyable to hear, but aren’t we all getting a little sick of these misunderstood “bad guys” who always seem to want to “play games” with the cops? I mean, c’mon dudes…let’s go for some originality here, some punch, some friggin’ new ideas!!! Skip this one babies, unless you’re looking for a low-rent rehashed version of many better thrillers with a crappy ending to boot.

PS: Whatever happened to Penelope Ann Miller’s career? In this film, she’s basically reduced to about three scenes and all she does in them is blubber. Sadly for us, I think we all know why she’s crying…

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian

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