Along Came a Spider
Morgan Can Tuffet Out
by Johnny Bray
Dr. Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) is a genius. He manages to figure things
out that even the world's most brilliant person could not. To him, it all makes
sense, and he makes it look so easy. Either he's been doing this his entire
life, or he's read the screenplay beforehand.
Along Came a Spider is, in a sense, like a Bond movie. It also features
the same central character as Kiss the Girls, though the story is completely
different. The character is the only thing linking the two.
It starts off with Cross and his team working undercover to capture a
serial killer. But something goes horribly wrong, and his partner is killed.
Cross retires, blaming himself for the incident, and spending all of his time
building model boats.
Then, one day, Cross is brought out of retirement by the kidnapping of
Megan, Senator Hank Rose's daughter. Gary Soneji, the kidnapper, specially
requests Dr. Cross for the case. Jezzie Flannigan (Monica Potter), was supposed
to guard Megan, and insists on tagging along in order to make up for her
blunder. From there, it turns into a giant cat-and-mouse game between Cross and
It was nice to see that so many cop/detective movie clichés were
not included. For example, in just about every cop/detective movie ever made,
there is a higher cop or FBI agent (or whatever) who keeps getting in the way.
In this case, the agent in charge of the operation actually works with Cross,
and even apologizes for offending him at one point. Of course, there are also
many cop movie clichés that are included. See if you can pick them
The acting is all good, particularly Freeman, who is always good.
Michael Wincott plays Gary Soneji very well, and it's always nice to see bad
guys who really aren't all that bad, but just have a good reason for what
they're doing. Whereas in this case, his reasoning doesn't really justify the
crime, at least he's being creative. Monica Potter seems basically like a blond
Julia Roberts. Her look, and her way of speaking, both resemble Julia. Whether
this is a good or bad thing I haven't yet decided.
Lee Tamahori, whose only major credit so far is The Edge, does a good
job of directing. It's a dark, well-constructed thriller with some nice plot
twists at the end. It follows the thriller formula to a T, and the result is
The picture and sound are what you would expect from a current DVD, in
that they're first rate. The film is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen,
and 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound.
Paramount went all-out on the extras (for Paramount), including the
usual scene selection and theatrical trailer, and even a short
behind-the-scenes featurette. As always, it would have been nice to see more
extras, though the picture and sound are good enough.
Along Came a Spider, from Paramount Home Video
TechnoFILE Reviews "Along Came a Spider" on DVD
103 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) 16X9 enhanced, 5.1 Dolby Digital
Starring Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter, Michael Wincott, Penelope Ann
Miller and Michael Moriarty
Produced by David Brown and Joe Wizan, Screenplay by Marc Moss
Directed by Lee Tamahori
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