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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 Scott Weinberg

"A revolutionary new TV movie that delivers its scenes in random order."
1 stars

Are there people out there who listen to the exact same music every day? Same CD, same order, same songs, every day. I'd like to think that such people don't exist, but apparently they do. They're the same people who go see movies like Along Came a Spider and recommend it to other people.

Forget other movies. If you've ever flipped channels on your remote for longer than 17 minutes, then you've already seen this movie. It's startling to see films that are advertised as "new", yet are fully comprised of scenes from other movies. If you're telling the exact same story, it's called a remake. If you remake random scenes and then mush 'em together, I guess that's called a screenplay.

I'm almost positive that Along Came a Spider is a remake of episode 104 of Quincy, mixed in with half a dozen of those red herring buffets that pass for plot in modern "thrillers". If you can find one logical plot thread or sensible character motivation, the congratulations; you accidentally rented the wrong movie.

The plot is about a kidnapping. Period. As is often the case in a kidnapping, we are presented with three forces: Abductor, victim, lawman. One raves and slobbers, one cowers and whimpers, one hunts and sweats. If my descriptions seem a bit bland, then you're beginning to understand what this screenplay is like.

Reprising his role from the slightly less vapid Kiss the Girls is Morgan Freeman, who somehow manages to keep viewers from slipping into coma simply by sheer force of screen presence. The words might sound silly, but Morgan Freeman is always worth listening to. As his googly-eyed hardbody Secret Service Agent partner, we have Monica Potter (Head Over Heels), who is not related to Julia Roberts despite having the exact same face. Michael Wincott (The Crow) shows up for a few scenes as (get this) a raving psycho. Quite a stretch for Mike, as he plays slobbering villains more often than Tim Roth plays femmy villains. Penelope Ann Miller (The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag) appears as a politician's wife, firmly announcing that her sexy days are well behind her.

The first two-thirds of Along Came a Spider play out like the world's oldest TV movie, but you won't believe the insanity that goes on in Act III. Obviously under the impression that their audience lacks the common sense of a kiwi, the filmmakers present a 1-2-3 punch of inescapably insipid plot twists. It's as if the characters' names were simply thrown into a hat, and the first one drawn has to get shot or become a bad guy, logic be damned.

Based on a novel that could be read over three lengthy trips to the toilet, Along Came a Spider manages to make its source material look like the finest novel ever written. Written by popular author James Patterson, Along Came a Spider had a built-in audience that had already proven itself rather undemanding, as it had already made James Patterson a millionaire. Of somewhat interesting note is the director Lee Tamahori. His debut was the explosive Once Were Warriors and since "going Hollywood" has given audiences Mulholland Falls, The Edge and now this stinkbomb. There's a great example of what Hollywood can do to promising young directors: They turn them into bland and lifeless tripod holders.

That this film managed to gross about $75 millon in U.S. box office is a testament to the undemanding tastes of American moviegoers. With its well publicized 'reshot ending' and the overpowering reek of familiarity, this movie was a dud primed for a quick B.O. death, yet audiences still lined up, thereby ensuring another wave of lazy and familiar tripe.

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originally posted: 11/25/01 15:29:56
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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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