Wednesday, September 24, 2003

along came a spider ... laid a goose egg, got confused and collapsed

Too brutal a heading. Along Came A Spider is the second Alex Cross film after Kiss the Girls, and marks Morgan Freeman's return as James Patterson's mainstream bestseller[sic] police detective/profiler/writer. Lee Tamahori (who went on to helm Die Another Day) directs ... strictly by the numbers. The holes in the geography and plot are larger than the sum of the coherent parts. The only reason I kept looking at Megan Potter was because she looks so much like a young cleaner version of Julia Roberts. Apart from that, no great shakes either in the acting department (although everyone performs adequately given medium-to-rare roles). Aside from Jerry Goldsmith's cool score, there's also the cold texture of the film (provided without much ado or elan though) including some Virginia exteriors filmed in British Columbia (monitor the end credits carefully and you'll see an acknowledgement of the usual Canadian contribution). The real star of the piece, however, is Morgan Freeman. To quote Roger Ebert: No one is better than Morgan Freeman at being calm and serious and saying things like, "He's really after somebody else." ... Of Morgan Freeman as a movie actor, no praise is too high. Maybe actors should be given Oscars not for the good films they triumph in, but for the weak films they survive. The focus of his gaze, the quiet authority of his voice, make Dr. Cross an interesting character even in scenes where all common sense has fled.

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