Along Came a Spider
In this adaptation of author James Patterson's 1999 thriller--and sequel to the 1997 hit Kiss the Girls--Morgan Freeman reprises the character of Dr. Alex Cross and, in a regrettably similar fashion to his first outing as the criminal detective/psychologist, infuses him with far more gravity, dignity, and decency than the film's dreary, inconsistent plot deserves. Spider weaves the tale of another kidnapping, this time of the precocious young daughter of a senator, right under the noses of a Secret Service squad headed by blond babe Jezzie (don't ask) Flannigan (Monica Potter). Determined to make up for her failure, Jezz teams up with a reluctant Cross, who has been dragged into the investigation by the fame-hungry kidnapper. The screenplay (by apparent first-time screenwriter Marc Moss) skims only the surface of the introspective Cross and has far too many narrative gaps, including the inexplicable final twist. Even more depressing is watching the slide of New Zealand director Lee Tamahori who, after his stunning debut in 1994 with Once Were Warriors, has sunk to standard Hollywood fare such as mediocre action pieces like this.