Newest Review: ... Cross becomes the main communication portal between the kidnapper and a team of specialists drafted in to ensure the safe return of Megan... more
Into the spider's web.
Along Came a Spider (DVD)
Member Name: bilbob20
Along Came a Spider (DVD)
Advantages: Excellent casting, fast paced and exciting
Disadvantages: Monica Potter
Alex Cross' somewhat tortured retirement is brought to an abrupt end when he is pulled into the investigation of a missing child. The girl, Megan, is the daughter of the US Senator, and has been kidnapped by a mad man posing as her genial school teacher. Teaming up with an ambitious FBI agent, Cross becomes the main communication portal between the kidnapper and a team of specialists drafted in to ensure the safe return of Megan. As more clues are hand delivered to him, though, it appears that the kidnapper's motives are more about notoriety than financial.
Cross finds himself in further danger though, when the kidnapper apparently contacts him and makes his demands. He, and his special agent sidekick, attempt to make the drop in exchange for the girl, but soon find that the demands might not be coming solely from the man who holds the girl hostage. Cross soon finds himself in a web of deceit that endangers himself, everybody around him, and infuriates the kidnapper whose sole purpose is to be recognised for a copycat crime nearly a hundred years old.
Lee Tamahori's fast paced film slices off the fat of James Patterson's patchy novel, making this a much swifter and action packed thriller. A whole last act is sliced off in favour of wrapping the finale up in a neat and thrilling box. The action sequences are deftly handled, yet never compromise the integrity of this believable crime thriller that puts the development of its characters and plot first. There are moments of disbelief, and you'll be hard pressed not to find the creepy revelation about Megan's teacher a little far fetched.
Morgan Freeman is delightful as always. He is an actor who rarely fails to impress, regardless of how good or how poor the material is. There is something reverential about him, whether he is playing the con next door in The Shawshank Redemption, or the President of America in Deep Impact (Obama, the first black president? Not in the fictional world of Hollywood.), and even in this film where he is knee deep in guilt and cornered off from the world, he still takes command of the screen.
There are few actors who ooze creepiness in quite the same way as Michael Wincott. With and without the weird prosthetics, there is something vaguely, then ultimately sinister about him. To an unknowing eye, as many of the characters initially are, he is a gentle intelligent man with a soft voice and unremarkable appearance. Stripped off his earlier incarnation, his powerful jaw-line, soulless eyes and still soft voice make him the most malevolent type of monster you can commit to this type of movie.
Other performances are less notable, especially Monica Potter, who has a big part to play. Thankfully, she is in the realm of giant's, and goes relatively unnoticed in her wooden one note performance. Her lacklustre performance is a tiny kink in the armour of a film that is solid, relentlessly paced, and excellently scripted. Patterson's source material is a riveting read, if a little wearing, and its nice that this film captures the essence of that without feeling the need to recite the whole sordid lengthy tale verbatim.
Summary: An excellently adapted crime thriller that pulls no punches