Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Kiss the Girls

1997's Kiss the Girls is the first of two movies adapted from James Patterson's novels starring Morgan Freeman as forensic psychologist Alex Cross. The plot follows Cross attempting to locate a kidnapper and serial killer known as Casanova who has just added Alex's niece (Gina Ravera) to his collection. Alex's biggest asset is Kate (Ashley Judd), one of Casanova's earlier victims and the only one who managed to escape her captivity.

Given the small cast, it's not all that surprising when the killer is revealed (you'll likely guess long before our resident genius Alex Cross does). The film received a mix response from both audience and critics, but did well enough at the box office for a 2001 sequel. Of the two, Kiss the Girls is the more creepy film although Along Came a Spider is a marginally better film, even if both rely on some questionable leaps in logic and plot twists to stumble towards an ending.

One of several (mostly forgettable) films to star both Freeman and Judd, both are fine here attempting to elevate the script through their performances. Judd, who did many of her own stunts for the film, has the more challenging role of the two in Kate's struggle through her own trauma to prevent something even worse happening to Alex's niece. The creepiest moments come in Casanova's dungeon, although David Klass tones down the levels of torture and rape found in the novel which would likely have been too extreme to get the movie into theaters.

Kiss the Girls is still the same mixed bag it was 26 years ago that may appeal to fans of the genre but lacks broader appeal. The fact that Hollywood has yet to make a good Alex Cross movie (at least this is a far bit better than 2012's Alex Cross) tells us at least as much about the plot-hole-filled source material as those attempting these adaptations.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Kiss the Girls
  • IMDb: link

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