Customer Review

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I am living proof, that a mind is a terrible thing", July 22, 2005
This review is from: Along Came a Spider (DVD)
I have to admit that I never quite understand why a director would decide to make a movie of a perfectly good suspense/mystery story (a best seller no less) and proceed to make wholesale modifications to the plot. It almost guarantees that a good piece of the audience will dislike the film simply because it diverges from the book and never even notice that it is a good film all on its own.

And it is a good film. Morgan Freeman does a superb job of portraying Detective Alex Cross as he tries to peel away the layers of a kidnapping that gets away from everyone - kidnapper and police alike. Gary Soneji(Michael Wincott), a teacher at a posh school for the children of the powerful, decides to improve his social standing by kidnapping Megan Rose (Mika Boorem), a senator's daughter. He has everything worked out in detail, including getting Cross out of of semi-retirement, in order to demonstrate Soneji's brilliance.

Joined by Jezzie Flannigan (Monica Potter). who was the secret service agent on duty when Soneji makes his move, Cross begins to sift through the details to try to understand Soneji enough to win Megan's Freedom. With each fact comes more confusion and the plot will zigzag all over the event horizon before the final confrontation. In many ways, this is a compelling combination of police procedural and suspense/psychotic film as the film switches back and forth between Cross and Soneji. A lot of people get shot, but the film doesn't dwell on the gory parts.

Mika Boorem does a fantastic job as the kidnapped girl, by the way. She manages to find an unusual balance between fearful weakness and a surprising inner strength. The film is well directed in a nicely understated way. If it wasn't for the arbitrary changes to an already good plot Along Came A Spider would have been a real winner. But even so, the basic surprises are carried over from the book to the film, the work is good, and the popcorn is warm. If you like tricky detection tales, you'll find this film entirely satisfactory.
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