4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2004
Washington, DC police detective Alex Cross (Freeman) receives a call that his niece Naomi has been abducted from the Durham area, and he decides that he needs to go there to help find her. Once he gets there, he is informed that one of the women abducted has been found dead tied to a tree. He, along with Nick Ruskin (Elwes) and Davey Skes (McArthur), the two Durham detectives heading up the task force, head out to the location. Alex is fearful that it's his niece, but is relieved that it's not her.
Meanwhile, we meet Kate McTiernan (Judd), a doctor at the local hospital. Not only is she a doctor, but she's also a kick-boxer. But that does her little good when she discovers a stranger in her house, who knocks her unconscious. When she comes to, she finds herself in a small room. And shortly after regaining conscious, the person who has abducted her appears at her bedside. She manages to get out of the room and escapes by jumping into a river. After she recovers, she decides to help Alex out with his investigation, against his protests. But he realizes that she's his best opportunity to find his niece, so reluctantly agrees.
The abducter starts taunting the police, sending them notes about the women. He signs his notes as Cassanova. Cassanova was a great lover, and Alex deduces that he isn't a killer, he's a collector. He only kills when the women disappoint or cross him. After some more investigating, he finds a connection between Cassanova and a plastic surgeon on the West Coast. It seems that there are also a string of abductions there, but these women all turn up dead, with one of their feet missing.
I can't say any more without giving away too much of the plot. KISS THE GIRLS has a good story, with very good acting by all involved. When Judd's character of McTiernan is in her cell communicating with the other girls, she's so convincing that it's like she was actually there. Morgan Freeman is very good in the role of Alex Cross. The supporting cast is pretty good, as well.
**SPOILER** The only real problem I have with KISS THE GIRLS is that the story, which is good as I said above, is just too similar to a lot of other movies in the thriller genre. It's really frustating to see movie after movie with the "killer is someone we met earlier" plot-line. It might have been clever at one time, but now it is just so common-place, that the viewer almost automatically look for clues as to who the killer is. I had this one pegged not too long after we first meet him.
Based solely on the story of this movie, I would give it a three. It's basically the same movie the viewer has seen before, but with a different twist on the plot. But I have to give it a four because of the acting, especially Freeman and Judd. If Freeman has made a bad movie, I haven't seen it yet. I recommend this movie, but if you pay attention, you can figure out who Cassanova is without too much difficulty. Story rates a three, but the acting pulls it up to a four. Go check it out.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2003
Nothing ingenious in the plot, nothing you wouldn't have seen before (it is almost "Se7en"-esque, come to think of it) but the handling of the crime thriller theme is different. There is a clever "bi-coastal" angle to the murders under investigation (I won't spoil it with an explanation) and the police investigators do well to identify it.
BUT, it's the terrible screenplay that makes the movie's flow rather jerky. So much sudden stuff happened during the course of the detective sleuthing that I couldn't help not caring towards the second half. The finale is mildly predicatable, and the last straw that identifies the killer is so knuckle-headed that it takes away from the overall smart flavor of the film.
On the upside, the shooting of the killer in the denouement is pretty novel (just so you wait until the end.) Morgan Freeman maintains every bit of his general quiet-yet-powerful screen charisma, and Ashley Judd delivers a very convincing performance of a woman with spirit.
The movie has a good deal of suspense too, kept me riveted. But it surely shows what bad story telling can do to an otherwise great theme.
On a scale of Freeman-Judd pairings, this is much better than "Along came a spider" (if you've seen it) but a weaker sibling to "High Crimes".
Nothing you'd want to own but definitely a recommended rental!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2003
I enjoyed thsi film for what it was. I'm sure that the books are much moere detailed into the characters but that for the sake of economizing time and plot, the movie moves along swiftly. The twist of a killer's victim getting away but still being necessary to being bait was a good twist as a plot point. I enjoyed Judd and Freeman working together---I don't think it could quite be called a sexual chemistry as much as an easiness with one another and a seeming respect for each other's abilities. That personal quality translates nicely to the screne so that I got the feeling that this police officer might trust Judd to help get his niece back. A good movie, though necessarily amazing, like Seven or Silence of the Lambs, but worth a viewing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2004
I liked "Kiss the Girls" quiet a bit. Brilliant psycologist and homicide detective Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) goes to North Carolina to help search for his missing niece. It turns out that she is actually one of many missing girls, the killer is a collector. As it seems the police have exhausted all leads, one of the killer's victoms (Ashley Judd) escapes. She helps Cross with a lot of information that leads him to realize there is a copy cat killer in L.A. Eventually they figure out it isn't copy cat, but the two know each other, andf they are competing with each other. "Kiss the Girls" was unfairly compared with "Silence of the Lambs" and "Se7en", itr shouldn't have been; it firmly stands on it's own. What would have been nice, however, would have been a little more motive from the killers, other than them being drivin by ego. Morgan Freeman as always dose a brilliant job in what could have been a traditonally 'Dirty Harry' cop and made him more human and caring. Ashley Judd dose pretty good too. She is far from helpless. She is strong, resourceful, and smart. She isn't all that just because she has to be, she really feels tough. Brian Cox as the lead police man is appropriotly authoritive and wise (sometimes). Tony Goldwyn is ok as smug plastic surgen and serial killer. All in all, it's an excellent way to kill a few hours.
on July 14, 2003
This film, adapted from James Patterson's novel of the same title, is a glossy and seemingly money-driven attempt to cash in on the success of the Alex Cross novels.
Fortunatly, director Feldman takes his job seriously, and shows loving attention in the photography to convey a consistantly dark and looming atmosphere. It a great looking film, and those who have read the book ought to be pleased with the performances, especially by Ashley Judd as Kate McTiernan. Mark Isham's score is appropriate in some places, like the main titles, and at other times it sends the wrong notes to fit the scenes.
The screenplay suffers a bit from being to tightly adapted from the novel, which, as an experience is entirely different. The novels rely on short chapters and exchanges and constant shifting in viewpoint to keep the reader going along, but the movie needs a slower pace, more meticulous mood building, which this film accomplishes to a degree, but would have benefited from more freedom from the novel to cut down on the story and make the essential plot elements more developed. But to it's credit, the movie does employ a very different ending, which I feel is even better and far more appropriate than Patterson's sett piece finale.
Mainstream moviegoers might find the film too dark and be uninterested by the seriel rapist plot, because it's more toned down than your typical detective thriller. But as a whole product, KISS THE GIRLS is lean and competent, with soem great performances and quite a good story and director to drive along its lazily adapted script
on May 3, 2003
In 'Kiss the Girls', Morgan Freeman makes his original appearance as detective Alex Cross, the forensic psychologist and hero of the best selling novels by James Patterson. His performance is superb.
Ashley Judd appears opposite him as a kidnapped and nearly raped medical intern who is intent on bringing to justice the smooth talking pervert who has imprisoned (and sometimes killed) nearly a dozen gorgeous college coeds.
The story unfolds in pieces. And the emphasis of the movie is more on pursuit - than on pleasure. The twists become more numerous as we approach the finale. And the film doesn't get gory (just a little) until the very end.
Mr. Patterson's novels are too gruesome for my own tastes. But the movie adaptations - of 'Kiss the Girls', and 'Along Came a Spider' - are both tastefully done and satisfying to watch.
The subject matter of the film - namely, the mixing of sex and violence towards women - is both disturbing and titillating. Although he doesn't quite say it in this manner, the villain of the film knows that the public is fascinated with the terror he wroughts - because it brings out the latent Ted Bundy in all of us. Enjoy.
on January 11, 2003
Many reviewers have had the benefit of reading the novel on which the movie was based before watching Kiss The Girls, and most reviewers consider this movie mediocre simply because it isn't on par with the novel. I haven't read the novel, so my agreement on the mediocrity of this movie stems from a slightly different source.
This movie centers around Alex Cross (played by Morgan Freeman), a forensic psychologist assigned to investigate a series of bi-coastal kidnappings simultaneously occurring in North Carolina and California. One of the women kidnapped is his own niece. He subsequently deduces that there are two kidnappers, one on each coast, who are both helping each other as well as competing against each other in some sort of sick game. Ashley Judd plays Kate Tiernan, a North Carolina doctor who is one of the women kidnapped but then manages to escape from the kidnapper's lair in the forest. She and Cross team up to find the kidnapped women and capture the kidnappers.
This movie is fairly entertaining, and Freeman and Judd are at their usual best. I also enjoyed the scenery in which the movie was filmed. However, this movie has a few drawbacks that cannot be overlooked. First, while Morgan Freeman gave an excellent performance, it was obvious that his part should have been given to someone a little younger. He's one of the greatest actors of our time, but he's a little too old to be doing action movies. Also, this movie was too much like Silence of the Lambs, only not as good. There was no original material here, and nothing that hasn't been presented in a better way in another movie.
If you're looking for something to entertain you for two hours, this will do the job. However, this is a movie you will soon forget.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2002
I am so glad I read "Kiss the Girls" before seeing this misbegotten movie. Had I seen the movie first, I would never have read a book by James Patterson!
First of all, as brilliant and wonderful as Morgan Freeman is, he is sadly miscast in this movie. Alex Cross, as described in the written series, is at least 10 years younger, and looks like "a young Ali." He also has an entirely different personality and affect. Freeman does his usually extraordinary best, of course, but he is forced to follow an inane script that explores none of Cross's humanity, none of his soul-searching, none of his deep love for his family that causes constant conflict (the brief scene where he is consoling his sister on the disappearance of his niece Naomi does not count).
Cross's dear friend John Samson, such a strong and necessary presence in the books, is now Alex's cousin, stationed in Los Angeles (not in Washington DC, with Alex), and only peripherally involved with Cross's life. There is none of the hilarious repartee between the two, none of the incredible bond that has kept them together since childhood.
Ashley Judd tries hard, but she is no Kate Tiernan, and the story is changed to such an extent that the viewer has no idea of the inner strength it takes Kate to help Alex track the killer after having escaped his lair. In fact, she's only in the lair a brief time, and none of the real horror of what happened to her at the hands of the would-be killer comes across. In fact, THIS Kate clearly states that she was not raped, hardly the case in the book.
Casanova's twin in crime, the West Coast's Gentleman Caller, appears, but the circumstances between the two killers are so muddled that, had I not read the book, I'm not sure I would have fully understood the connection between them. The unmasking of the eventual killer comes as a disappointment, where it was a true shock in the book.
I gave this movie two stars in homage to Morgan Freeman, who didn't deserve the poor script, the shoddy editing, the lackluster photography, and everything else that made this a bad movie. My advice to those who haven't read the book: Please do do before seeing this movie. For those who HAVE read the book: Get Alex Cross out of your mind. Only the name remains the same.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2002
While others may argue that this action thriller was a "Silence of the Lambs' wannabe, I found both the plot and the characters to be far more compelling and plausible than in most contemporary suspense films. Of course, having someone as good at presenting the merits of forensic scientist as Morgan Freeman certainly helps, as does the strong performance by Ashley Judd, fresh from her star turn in "Heat" playing opposite Robert DeNiro and Val Kilmer. She is smart, sassy, and more than the match for the serial killer she must face alone here, and shows how well she can play an urbane, well-educated, and resourceful modern woman.
And such talents are required by the somewhat convoluted plot spun from author James Patterson's gory novel of the same name. Filmed in somber tones, much of the action takes place in a makeshift subterranean lockup the serial murderer uses to such gruesome effect. Yet other scenes contrast this muddy environment by depicting the upscale area of the lovely area around the "Research Triangle" area of North Carolina near Duke University and the University Of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since Judd's character is a surgeon also doing important pediatric research, it shows a number of familiar scenes that denizens of the area will certainly recognize.
After Judd manages to escape from the killer and make her back to the world, she agrees to help Freeman find him. Of course, this is when all hell breaks loose, and a number of unexpected plot twists make this a suspenseful thriller that had me at the edge of my seat for the last half hour. It is a fast-paced movie, one that is fairly intelligent in its approach, and as relatively straight-forward 'bang-em-up' entertainment it works quite well. Enjoy!
on July 26, 2002
Kiss the Girls is one of the best thrillers Ive ever seen. Ashley Judd's performance as Kate McTiernan is absolutly flawless in everyway. Morgan Freeman does a dazzling performance as detective Alex Cross. The director, Gary Felder, does a great job adapting the book onto the screen.
The DVDs picture is very clear and the sound is extremely crisp right down to the breaking twigs. The special features are not so good. All there is a theatrical trailer, I wish there were more. The lack of special features dont take away from the film though.
Kiss the Girls is about Alex Cross who is trying to find the kidnapper and murderer who calls himself Casanova. Cross is drawn into the case when his niece is kidnapped by Casanova. When a woman is killed Cross gets nervous that it might be Naomi. Its not. Kate is a doctor who gets kidnapped by Casanova but fights him and runs through the underground lair. She gets outside, runs to the edge of a stream that is far, far, far below her and Casanova catches up. She jumps.
Does she survive??? Will Cross ever get his niece back???? I wont tell because this film is full of thrills and chills that you wont want to know until you experience them. I love this film and I hope you will too. Thanks