"Web of Intrigue"
What You Need To Know:
ALONG CAME A SPIDER may thrill audiences with its twists and turns and compelling characters. Freeman as Dr. Cross, Monica Potter as Agent Flannigan, Mika Boorem as the kidnapped girl, and Michael Wincott as the villain work well together to create an suspenseful story. Unlike the first movie featuring Dr. Cross, KISS THE GIRLS, Director Lee Tamahori and Screenwriter Marc Moss take the best from the novel and throw in some surprises. ALONG CAME A SPIDER includes some strong foul language and dark subject matter, however, that deserves a strong caution. Thus, although its moral worldview contains many scenes of courage and bravery as officers attempt to rescue a young abducted girl and protect others, its web of intrigue requires a finely tuned sense of media wisdom
(BB, LL, VV, D, M) Moral worldview with many scenes of courage & bravery as officers attempt to rescue a young abducted girl & protect others; 1 profanity, 6 strong obscenities (the “f” word), 5 mild obscenities, & man caresses policewoman’s leg while demanding crude sex (but nothing happens as police interrupt); some solid action violence such as automobile crash with brief bloody face shown, numerous deaths (including 5 shootings, 1 strangulation, & 2 fall from bridge), woman stabs man in leg in self-defense, & man uses tazer gun to shock woman; no sex or nudity but man propositions policewoman; adults smoke; and, child drugged & abducted as well as several scenes of child in imminent danger, theft, betrayal, & killer argues in one scene, “Forgiving yourself is one thing you cannot do.”
In ALONG CAME A SPIDER, Morgan Freeman performs superbly as brilliant Dr. Alex Cross, the psychologist-turned-detective from the best-selling James Patterson novel. His previous venture as Dr. Cross (in the disappointing KISS THE GIRLS) seemed stilted, even for this accomplished actor, but in ALONG CAME A SPIDER, Freeman finally fits as Cross and audiences will be eager to see him return for future assignments. (Interestingly, ALONG CAME A SPIDER is actually the first Dr. Cross story by Patterson, while KISS THE GIRLS is the second.)
Early in ALONG CAME A SPIDER, Cross makes a miscalculation while hunting a serial killer. His partner is killed in the ensuing chase. Disgraced, Cross retires from the police force.
Diabolical kidnapper Gary Soneji (Michael Wincott) has other plans, however. He seeks a worthy opponent, so he invites Cross out of retirement to join in the hunt for a missing Senator’s daughter by leaving a piece of evidence in the detective’s mailbox. The hero and the madman are worthy opponents, each secretly admiring the cunning and keen intellect of the other. Cross teams with Secret Service Agent Jezzie Flannigan (Monica Potter), who’s also been now scorned because she was originally responsible for the young girl’s protection. Cross and Flannigan, desiring personal redemption from their previous failures, join to fight their adversary, Soneji, who is intent on committing “the crime of the century.”
The elementary-aged schoolgirl, Megan Rose, is wonderfully portrayed by Mika Boorem. Mika was last seen as Mel Gibson’s daughter in THE PATRIOT. As Megan, she exhibits a delicate balance of courage and fear. Last seen in HEAD OVER HEELS, Monica Potter also delivers a touching and powerful performance as Agent Jezzie Flannigan. She is believable as the young officer fighting for Megan’s life. Oddly enough, many moviegoers will see in Potter an eerie resemblance to actress Julia Roberts. Whether intentional or not, Potter demonstrates she can hold her own opposite three-time Oscar® nominee Morgan Freeman.
Freeman says he was intrigued with playing the character of Dr. Cross again because of the cerebral nature of the detective. He was also fascinated with the story. “There are a lot of layers and twists and turns in the plot,” he says. “There’s also a lot of mystery. It’s like peeling an onion when you start trying to solve it.”
ALONG CAME A SPIDER may thrill audiences with its twists and turns and compelling characters. Regrettably, there are a few plot inconsistencies which may be overlooked as the action moves at breakneck speed. Jerry Goldsmith also serves up a good soundtrack to underscore the tension and excitement of this thriller.
Readers of the novel will be pleasantly surprised that the dark and disturbing Patterson story is greatly improved upon by Director Lee Tamahori and Screenwriter Marc Moss. They take the best from the novel and throw in some surprises. Tamahori, by the way, was the director for THE EDGE, one of MOVIEGUIDE®’s Ten Best Movies for Mature Audiences in 1997.
ALONG CAME A SPIDER contains some foul language and subject matter that deserves an extreme caution. MOVIEGUIDE® also hopes that the crafty villain in this movie won’t inspire anyone to try to commit their own “crime of the century” in real life. Thus, although its moral worldview contains many scenes of courage and bravery as officers attempt to rescue a young abducted girl and protect others, its web of intrigue requires a finely tuned sense of media discernment.