Sunday, July 8, 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: Along Came a Spider

When the senator's daughter gets kidnapped, detective Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) receives a call from the kidnapper, luring him into a case he initially wants nothing to do with. Alex teams up with a secret service agent (Monica Potter) who worked at the girls' high security school. The kidnapper (Michael Wincott) lays out a clue-finding game, trying to get Alex to play along, making this the crime of the century.

I don't generally care much for kidnap movies, they're so often too formulaic, focusing on the (always very rich) parents' pleas, the clever set-up at the ransom handover where they try and grab the kid before giving the kidnapper any money, but 'Along Came A Spider' has very few of these cliches (it does have the very over used detective-is-brokenhearted-about-his-previous-partner's-death-that-he-could-have-avoided cliche, but I'll look the other way). Instead it's fast paced, focusing more on the game of cat and mouse than emotional turmoil and it has a great, exciting twist that I didn't at all see coming.

The acting is very good, obviously Freeman is great as always. (Has he ever not been good in a movie?) The criminal, played by 'The Crow's' Top Dollar, is very human, never once crossing the line into cartoon villain territory and the kidnapped girl is suitably strong-willed and inventive without it becoming very 'Home Alone' (which I do love, but not in a thriller).

At the time it came out the movie didn't receive much attention and I feel it was underrated. 'Along Came A Spider' is an action-packed movie with exciting twists and turns whose ninety-nine minutes breeze by in no-time. There is no lingering, no time to get bored, just a good, solid psychological thriller. It really shows that you don't need two and a half hours to tell a story. So, if you're in the mood for plunging into 'a tangled web of danger and deceit' definitely check it out!