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Along Came a Spider (2001): Down Came the Rain

Along Came a Spider (Lee Tamahori, 2001)

[originally posted 26Feb2002]

Morgan Freeman and Monica Potter look determind behind a spider's web on the movie poster.

A web of… umm, mediocre writing?
photo credit: Wikipedia

Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) is back for film #2, this time with a new partner (Monica Potter) and a kidnapped Senator’s kid. Most of my Kiss the Girls review could be cut and pasted into this one, and that is the film’s main failing; there’s just not that much new here. The movie is a strictly paint-by-numbers mystery flick of the kind that seems to have been endemic over the past couple of years. It’s a good enough way to escape from the world for a couple of hours, but it ranks in the empty calories section of the video rental shelf: you won’t take anything away from it.

Morgan Freeman tries to talk sense into Monica Potter in a still from the film.

“You see, Monica, I know Ashley Judd. And as much as I hate to say it, you’re no Ashley Judd.”
photo credit:

The film opens with the daughter of a Senator (Michael Moriarty) being kidnapped from her school. The kidnapper gets Cross involved in the investigation by dropping a piece of evidence off in his mailbox and calling him. Jezzie Flanagan (Potter), who’s been the Secret Service agent in charge of guarding the kid, latches onto him, and the two end up as partners in the investigation.

The plot twists show up exactly where you expect them, and should be predictable to anyone who’s watched more than five mysteries between The Thirty-Nine Steps and Kiss the Girls. Everyone reacts the way you’d expect them to in every situation. Everything is safe and requires no thought. Structured and filmed the way Barbara Cartland used to write novels, and about as fulfilling. Morgan freeman gets two stars for his acting ability alone, but he can’t carry this by himself. **


About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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