High powered lawyer Claire Kubik finds her world turned upside down when her husband, who has been living under a false name, is arrested by military police and placed on trial for the murder of villagers while he was in the Marines.
CIA analyst Jack Ryan must stop the plans of a Neo Nazis faction that threatens to induce a catastrophic conflict between the United States and Russia's newly elected president by detonating a nuclear weapon at a football game in Baltimore.
Detective/psychologist Alex Cross loses his partner in an out of control 'bust.' He stops working and cannot forgive himself. He is drawn back to work reluctantly when a senator's daughter is kidnapped and the kidnapper seems to want to deal with Alex personally. Written by
The scene where Alex Cross pays the kidnapper by throwing the thermos containing the ransom from the window of a transit train is taken from James Patterson's novel "Roses Are Red", which starred Alex Cross investigating another of his "best enemies", Kyle Craig, aka "The Mastermind". See more »
The teacher talks about Lindburgh. He turns to the blackboard and writes at or just above his eye level. Yet when the camera views his face from the blackboard, he is writing at or below his shoulder height. See more »
Tonight was your first night at the club, wasn't it?
No. I've been there a few times before.
Really? Well, how come I haven't seen you?
I noticed you the first night I walked in. You always stand out.
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During the opening credits some of the letters drift down attached to a spider thread. See more »
Nice moments and effective twists, but too many plot holes. ** (out of four)
ALONG CAME A SPIDER / (2001) ** (out of four)
By Blake French:
In 1997, a big year for serial killer movies, Gary Fleder's "Kiss the Girls" enriched the genre with a sense of splendid atmosphere, mystery and intrigue. "Along Came a Spider," based on a novel by James Patterson, is not on that level. It is not really a sequel, but more a continuation of the adventures of Forensic Psychologist Alex Cross. It is a well-made movie with good performances and effective, unexpected plot twists and startling surprises, but so much of it is too conventional. As I watched the film, often spotting ample plot holes, I was astonished at how recycled so many of the scenes were. There is a sequence that has Cross running throughout a busy city during rush hour to deliver a ransom. The killer commands him to race from one location to the next answering pay phones. Gee, we have never seen this idea before.
Morgan Freeman reprises his role as Alex Cross who finds himself in complete grief and remorse after losing a partner during an undercover operation that we see at the beginning of the film. It starts out quick as his time of regret is shattered when he gets a phone call from a killer who just kidnapped the 12 year old daughter of the Senator (Michael Moriarty). We know this man as a school teacher named Mr. Soneji (Michael Wincott). Although under the secret service protection by Jezzie Flannigan (Monica Potter) and Ben Devine (Billy Burke), Soneji devised an articulate plan and now holds the girl captive on his boat.
I dare not reveal any more of the story. There are several ninety degree twists that play games with our mind. However, they are disposable and essentially unneeded, and only rationalize familiar clichés. Some of them are fun, but they seem to crawl out of holes in the plot. As the movie continues, it only becomes more absurd. And it is particularly vulnerable to logic, or perhaps it is just poorly edited. For instance, what if the detectives missed any of the killer's clues? Any given clue? Then what? His entire plan would be shot to hell because each clue he leaves sets the police up for the next one. So I question: why do killers always want to play elaborate cat and mouse games with detectives?
Unlike "Kiss the Girls," "Along Came a Spider" lacks suspense and thrills because there is little tension in its structure. We already know the killer's identity-but do we? The movie certainly ends up on different floors than where I thought it would land, and it works to some extent. I still think the movie could have had some more thrilling moments of suspense and chills instead of indulging in a crime case that is not really all that involving. Actually, we never really care if the killer is caught. Since the film's villain is so much more interesting than the good guys, I was actually rooting for him in some scenes. When the girl tries to escape from Soneji, I was hoping she would be caught, because I wanted Soneji to lay down more puzzle pieces for Cross.
There are nice moments here, effective scenes of action. Morgan Freeman is a little too calm and collected for such an intense situation, though. Monica Porter has a great performance, however, in one of the film's trickiest roles. "Along Came a Spider," directed by Lee Tamahori ("The Edge," "Mulholland Falls") has a lot of potential-but strays from its roots and becomes just another contrived thriller in which we have already seen countless times before.
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