There are a lot of mystery/detective movies out there, most of which have interesting initial story lines along with something that grabs you and leaves you wanting more. Most of them have a few unexpected twists and turns throughout the film. There are, however, only a select few that can pull it all together at the end, leaving the viewer feeling both satisfied and wowed all at the same time. For anyone who saw “Scream” or “The Sixth Sense,” you understand.
The endings are always the hardest part for these types of movies. You don”t want one that is totally obvious to everyone, nor do you want an ending that comes out of left field with no prior clues given at all. For anyone who was unlucky enough to see “Scream 2,” you also understand.
“Along Came a Spider” is a stellar mystery that is both suspenseful and intriguing. It works on all accounts as a great cat-and-mouse detective story. “Along Came a Spider” is actually a prequel to the 1997 movie “Kiss the Girls,” but you would never know it except for the return of Morgan Freeman”s character, Alex Cross.
Morgan Freeman was born to play Alex Cross. Cross is a police detective and criminal profiler. He solves most of his cases with his mind rather than through his actions, which is a fascinating thing to watch. Not to say that Cross doesn”t get down and dirty when he has to, but he believes that all the clues are there, you just need to see them. In movie format, this means the audience has the fun of being able to search for them too.
Freeman has that wonderful gift as an actor, (one that seems to evade a lot of others in his line of work nowadays): He can act. He not only plays a role but he becomes it. I don”t think I”ve ever seen Freeman play a role where he didn”t seem believable. He is no different in “Along Came a Spider.”
There is not a lot to say regarding the plot of “Along Came a Spider.” The movie begins with the kidnapping of a Senator”s daughter. Detective Cross is brought into the case when the kidnapper gives him a call, deciding to make Cross a key player in his master plan. Monica Potter (“Head Over Heels”) plays Special Agent Jezzie Flannigan. Initially in charge of surveillance for the daughter, she wants to partner up with Cross in order to catch the guy that slipped through her fingers. In doing so, she also hopes to repair her tarnished reputation.
“Along Came a Spider” does indeed have a lot of unexpected twists and turns. Most of these are good and refreshing since you don”t see them coming. Towards the end, though, things start to get a little confusing. The movie was trying to rush itself so that the audience wouldn”t figure things out on their own, and because of this, skipped through things that may have been important to the plot.
This was a common limitation throughout the movie. “Along Came a Spider” feels as though it could have been much longer (not that it should have been). A lot of this could have been the fact that the movie was adapted from a novel. As tends to happen in cases such as this, the book has tons of little details that are key but cannot all be put into the movie. So, when the movie left out a detail (however small and trivial), the filmmakers seemed to speed things up in hopes that the viewer wouldn”t notice any major jumps.
I am a big fan of mysteries when they are done well and “Along Came a Spider” does not disappoint. Even when I thought I knew what was coming or how the movie was going to end, I was always surprised, yet at the same time thinking to myself, “Of course! Why hadn”t I thought of that!” a good sign in my book.