Kiss The Girls (18)

Directed by Gary Fleder
Starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Cary Elwes, Brian Cox

An enjoyably engrossing sub-Silence of the Lambs type psychological thriller that features the ever reliable Morgan Freeman as Dr Alex Cross, the psychologist form James Patterson's books. He becomes involved in a series of disappearances when his neice is abducted, and together with the local police tries to figure out the crime. Meanwhile, feisty young doctor Kate McTiernan(Judd) awakes one dark and stormy night, to hear the sound of an intruder in her isolated and pretty darn spooky house...!
Naturally, this criminal has to have an angle, something different to make him interesting, and the labyrinthian thriller from which it has been adapted gives us just that. What is also pleasing is that the heroic Kate manages to escape from her captor- who calls himself Casanova, and then teams up with Cross to help save the other women in Casanova's 'collection.'
Films of this type, adapted from bestsellers are always plot driven, and this film is a good example. However, the latter half is rather unlikely as Cross and Kate team up with a couple of cop pals to hunt the killer, rather than use the FBI or the authorities. A bit TOO maverick to be convincing. Also, the final twist to reveal the identitiy of the killer was sort of predictable- think Hollywood's current requirement for baddies!
Morgan Freeman virtually reprises his Seven role, with an equally pretty co-star. Ashley Judd is quite impressive as the Clarice Starling, spunky heroine type. She and Freeman make a surprisingly good team, and her character was a nice change from the Hollywood damsel in distress. Resourceful and brave, she is no passive victim. Director Gary Fleder's last effort was Things to do in Denver When You're Dead- the title of last year, although I never got around to seeing the film. He handles things pretty well, and keeps the plot moving along nicely.
This is no classic, the characters aren't quite facinating enough, the plot twists not entirely unpredictable, but a good creepy thriller that keeps you entertained. 6/10.

March 1998

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