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Customer Review

50 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars actually - This DVD is a bargain!, October 18, 2004
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This review is from: Along Came a Spider (DVD)
At the time that I am writing this review I see 140 of these DVDs listed used starting at $2.98. I would consider it a bargain for 3 times that!

To the movie:
I have not read the Alex Cross novels, so I am not able to comment on the movies based on them being faithful or not to the book. I HAVE seen both "Along Came A Spider" and "Kiss the Girls" and I enjoyed "Spider" much more, even though KTG was a good stab at the thriller genre.

Morgan Freeman inhabits Alex Cross more completely, and I suspect that my appreciation of his performance was a combination of his wonderfully intelligent acting and Lee Tamahori's direction. This version of Cross is intelligent, compassionate, brave, and scarcely takes a wrong step. He'd be a good teacher and a good person to go get a beer with. And if some psychotic killer were on your trail - he's the guy you'd want tracking the killer.

*WARNING! Silence of the Lambs Spoiler in this paragraph!*
The writers of thrillers have begun doing cartwheels trying to out "surprise" all that came before. I can't pinpoint when this began.... but do you remember the surprise in "Silence of the Lambs" when Hannibal Lector suddenly appears from beneath the sheets in the ambulance? The story here throws in several twists, and although in the lesser thriller you can often sense the "twists" a country mile before it occurs, I found myself genuinely surprised several times.

It is worth mentioning both the character and performance given by young Mika Boorem as Megan Rose, the kidnapped daughter of a U.S. Senator. In many thrillers adults often behave as if they've been lobotomized, with victims giving killers ample opportunity to have their way and with killers who give the hero a boring explanation of their motives as they also give the hero plenty of time to get the drop on them. Megan Rose is no such character. She is smart, resourceful, and after being kidnapped she plainly has no plans other than escaping. A handful of times she thwarts the villains in ways that would not be thought of by any of the adults you see on "Jerry Springer".

Monica Potter stands up adequately next to Morgan Freeman's powerful performance as Jezzie, the Secret Service Agent who was supposed to be guarding Megan when she is kidnapped suddenly by one of her teachers at her upscale prep school. It seemed a little odd to me that Alex Cross would be initially reluctant to form an alliance with a Secret Service Agent when in "Kiss The Girls" he doesn't have any problem with becoming investigative partners with an amateur - a medical intern.

There are several sequences which I found clever and suspenseful, such as the one in which a ransom of a thermos full of diamonds is transferred to the kidnapper - I always wonder how kidnappers think they're going to get away with it when they're trying to ransom - for you to get your loot you HAVE to go to where the loot is, right? And if the ransom is several million, won't the cops be waiting for you? The way THIS kidnapper overcomes this dillemma is ingenious.... and I read on the IMDB that this sequence was based on a similar sequence from "High and Low" by Kurosawa.

At one point Alex Cross finds himself in the kidnapper's house, looking at two years of work that went into developing the kidnapping plan and he plainly has some admiration.

"Imagine the patience...the dedication..." he murmurs.
Jezzie responds "You sound like an admirer."
"Well, he's like a spider. I happen to like spiders."

I happen to like movies with clever villains, clever resourceful victims, sequences that pay homage to Kurosawa, and smart characters and actors like Morgan Freeman.

Plus you can buy it for less than a rental at Blockbuster....
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 20, 2013 8:11:53 PM PDT
Yea.... as far as hollywood goes it is relatively intelligent. But every time I see that bogas ploy about it taking whatever minutes to "trace" a call I want to slam my head against the wall. Do people really believe that?

Posted on Apr 30, 2013 6:13:43 PM PDT
I think this writer should comment on the ONE movie at hand... and not 3 or so others. He seemed to talk too much. Remember: K.I.S.S.

The movie is great. One of the best in its group.
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Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas

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