September 2001
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Suspense Thriller Proves to be Anything But
By Kevin E., St. Stephens High, St. Stephens NB

From the trailer, one might gather that Along Came a Spider is a suspense-filled thriller. Unfortunately this couldn’t be further from the truth. This spider couldn’t scare Miss Muffet. There is more drama in an elementary school play. This film is one of the most uncreative and sloppily filmed movies of the year. It lacks a solid plot, character development, and originality.

The so-called plot of the film was so unorganized that it almost makes one want to stop watching it.

The story revolves around a kidnapper, his actions, and what his motives are. Unfortunately the director must have forgotten about this aspect of the film. His actions are brought up several times, but nothing is fully explained.

The film stars Morgan Freeman as Detective Alex Cross as a damaged (explained in the film) cop. His acting is average and is nothing we haven’t seen before. His character is seemingly identical to the character he played in Kiss the Girls, yet another kidnapping movie. Monica Potter also co-stars in the film as Jezzy, a secret security officer in an elementary school. Her role is barely explained in the film. It’s obvious that she was not cast for her acting abilities, but rather as just a pretty face to put in the movie.

There are several parts in the film that are left unexplained. At one point, Detective Cross compares the kidnapper to a spider. He never explains his reasons for doing so. Another example of the many forgotten pieces of the plot is the opening sequence. Without spoiling the scene, it is an action sequence that has absolutely no relevance to what little story line there is to begin with, It almost seems like they took a scene from one of Freeman’s previous films and decided it would be a cool opening. In the filming of this movie the director must have assumed no one would notice all of the unexplained situations and the overdone special effects in the opening sequence.

Besides the motives of the kidnapper, there are two other unexplained phenomena in the film. One is how the kidnapper happened to know the phone number of every pay phone known to man. The second is how Detective Cross was able to open a thick book and within minutes find the exact page of a quote used by the kidnapper. Just for the record, this quote is another aspect completely irrelevant to the plot.

Is there anything good about this movie? The answer is an unenthusiastic yes. The ending is the only acceptable part of the movie. There are two small yet significant plot twists. Although they had potential to heat up the plot, they did not do so. All these twists managed to do was mildly entertain the audience for the end of the film and let them leave the theatre with a distorted yet positive view of the film.

All in all the film had potential, but the director did a horrible job of developing it. In the film the kidnapper said to Freeman’s character, “You are living proof that a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

This film is living proof that a plot is a terrible thing to waste. On a scale of one to five stars, Along Came a Spider receives two stars.


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