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Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.98%
Worth A Look: 2.33%
Average: 20.93%
Pretty Bad43.02%
Total Crap: 26.74%

6 reviews, 50 user ratings

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Along Came a Spider
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by EricDSnider

"Morgan Freeman stars in 'Tired Old Cliche Theater'"
3 stars

"Along Came a Spider" is based on the first book in James Patterson's Alex Cross series. "Kiss the Girls," which came out four years ago, was based on the second book. I don't know why the second book was made into a movie first, except that it's a better story than its predecessor.

The new movie, which stars Morgan Freeman again as police detective Alex Cross, borrows liberally from "Dirty Harry," "Ransom," and every police drama ever made. In fact, there is little in the first 75 minutes that would distinguish it from being a regular weekly episode of some TV cop show.

It begins auspiciously enough, with Cross's partner helping to trap a killer by going undercover. The plan goes awry, ending in a terrifically exciting car crash that kills both the murderer and the cop.

The film heads downward there and never really comes up again, as Cross is saddled with guilt for letting his partner die. If there's a more shop-worn movie cliche than that, it would have to be the one where the cops look at an old piece of evidence they've already looked at a thousand times and finally notice the tiny clue that brings it all together for them -- and that's in here, too.

It's worth noting that neither of these cliches is even done very well. Cross feels guilty and is comforted by his wife in one scene -- and then we literally never see her again, and his guilt is hardly addressed. And the evidence they look at is one we're TOLD they've looked at a lot before, but it's the first time WE'VE seen it. It's like they were rushing through the cliches so they could get to some more cliches.

Cross is brought out of his self-imposed exile when a senator's daughter, Megan Rose (Mika Boorem), is kidnapped from her School for Diplomats' Kids, right under the noses of the Secret Service. Agent Jezzie Flannigan (Monica Potter) was on duty, and she feels just awful about it, which makes her and Cross kindred spirits. They work together when the kidnapper (Michael Wincott) leaves a piece of evidence in Cross's mailbox.

Why does he want Cross on the case? Because movie bad guys always have personal agendas like that. Also, he knows Cross is a well-respected criminal profiler. This guy wants his 15 minutes of fame, and he hopes Cross will be his biographer in the annals of crime history.

The plot twists come in the final 30 minutes, and while they are entertaining, they're also ludicrous. One begins to wish the movie had stuck with its original plan of just being a mediocre cop thriller, rather than changing into something quasi-clever.

Morgan Freeman is a classy actor, and his presence alone saves "Along Came a Spider" from being utterly worthless. He works a lot, and no matter how many medium-grade movies the guy is in, he never comes off as a hack who will appear in anything. He's always cool and always above whatever nonsense is going on around him. I like him.

Monica Potter, on the other hand, is stone-faced and one-note. Her last two vehicles were a Freddie Prinze, Jr. movie and "Patch Adams." At least she's in good company this time around.

Alas, the movie is unimaginative and makes only cursory attempts at characterization or motives.

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originally posted: 04/06/01 15:55:07
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell it sucks read the book instead 1 stars
10/21/12 Jeff Wilder Freeman's good as always. But the movie blows. 1 stars
7/26/09 the dork knight Single worst fucking movie I have ever seen. Saw the twist coming a mile away!! 1 stars
10/05/08 Lenny Zane Both Morgan Freeman and Monica Potter CAN be darned good. What a shame about theis drivel! 1 stars
9/26/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome story! 5 stars
11/21/07 G. Webster another case of horrible screenwriting from a good book 3 stars
11/11/07 Jack Sommersby Simply dreadful stuff. 1 stars
7/01/07 johnnyfog If this isn't SHIT, then NOTHING is. 1 stars
5/15/07 Rob I still remember groaning in the theatre when Potter is revealed as the Bad Guy.. Horrible! 1 stars
1/31/07 Albert Stone The plot is riduclous, but the acting was good. CGI car crash was rubbish. 3 stars
6/11/06 Chris A decent movie although the book was better 3 stars
8/12/05 ES I know let's put a really crappy CGI car crash within the first five minutes of the film! 1 stars
8/09/05 seeda It's cool 5 stars
7/20/05 Chris Not that bad 3 stars
2/27/05 Dr. Lecter a bunch of well-made, polished cliches 3 stars
5/25/04 Jenny The book would have made a much better movie. 1 stars
11/22/03 R.W. Welch A few good scenes but has sort of a mish-mash quality and Potter is miscast. 3 stars
11/08/03 The Velcro Warlock I liked Monica Potter, until this apparently ended her career. 1 stars
7/23/03 francis plot twists are standard now - no excitement left. Potter is leaden. 3 stars
6/10/03 Jack Bourbon Along came a . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. . . Ehem. . .WHA??? 2 stars
3/20/03 Wendy Jane Torrance Couldn't HEAD OVER HEELS have shown ANYBODY what Monica Potter was born to play? 1 stars
7/24/02 dzk AWESOME ! Wonderful ending ! Monica Potter is the best actress of our era ! Cheers !! 5 stars
7/08/02 Film Dude Ugh. It's sad seeing Morgan Freeman in this state. 2 stars
6/05/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi welllll.....the twist was surprising, but othawise......pppppfffffff 1 stars
5/24/02 Charles Tatum Freeman good, Potter needs to quit acting 2 stars
5/14/02 Danielle Ophelia Morgan Freeman slumming is a terrible thing to watch. Also, Monica Potter is a choad. 2 stars
3/29/02 Frank E. Loved it. Take us back to the 70's! for today's crowd (duh) That is new! 5 stars
2/24/02 Chris K. Tries to be like a Mario Bava and Lucio Fulci Italian giallo, but it just doesn't cut it. 3 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Freeman was great but he couldn't save this film. 2 stars
1/25/02 Wendy Jane Torrance Couldn't HEAD OVER HEELS have shown ANYBODY what Monica Potter was born to play? 1 stars
12/25/01 Leslie Suranyi Jr. Freeman does his best despite being mired in a hopeless plot. Don't watch this movie. 1 stars
12/07/01 Phil M. Afficianado Unbelievable, literally. Only because of Freeman is it watchable. Potter doesn't cut it.i 3 stars
11/25/01 Senor Pescolido Very very weak. Is it wrong to challenge an audience, instead of playing down to it? 1 stars
10/27/01 Monday Morning Morgan is good. Also wouldn't mind seeing Monica Potter nekkid; she sure can't act. 3 stars
9/28/01 Karabella This movie was so kickass! I would see it over and over again 5 stars
8/16/01 Belinda Morgan Freeman what were you thinking? This and Nurse Betty were shockers! 2 stars
8/10/01 kris Average 3 stars
6/18/01 Mary Morgan Freeman too good an actor to be so clueless in this film! 2 stars
6/07/01 Peter Brook doh. 2 stars
5/25/01 Matthew Bartley Whats the point of having a twist exactly the same as the first film? 2 stars
5/17/01 Layna I thought it was AWESOME!!! 5 stars
5/16/01 Rampage Freeman was good, this movie was total bullshit 2 stars
5/14/01 Thai Nguyen Nice twist 4 stars
5/13/01 Gary i actually had a good time 4 stars
5/02/01 BrainPan Want to see a good Morgan Freeman detective movie with lots of rain? Try SE7EN. 2 stars
4/29/01 bullit17 If you really want to enjoy "Along Came..." spend yout $8 on the book instead of the movie. 3 stars
4/26/01 Hobius The purest crap ever. 1 stars
4/23/01 jusDucky Freeman is so good, but Potter futher weakened the show. 2 stars
4/18/01 Ajay I'm too busy eyeing the door to care about the "surprise" ending. 1 stars
4/15/01 Roy Smith It's not a twist if you see the ending coming for 20 minutes away. 2 stars
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  06-Apr-2001 (R)


  16-Aug-2001 (M)

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