Along Came a Spider (2001) starring Morgan Freeman, Monica Potter, Michael Wincott, Dylan Baker, Mika Boorem, Anton Yelchin, Billy Burke directed by Lee Tamahori Movie Review

Along Came a Spider (2001)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Morgan Freeman as Alex Cross in Along Came a Spider (2001)

Freeman Frees Child

It would be easy to bemoan the fact that "Along Came a Spider" is a thriller which contains many plot holes and one too many twists, but the thing is that it works. What I mean by that is that if "Along Came a Spider" hooks you with the action packed opening then all those plot holes and issues become less important as the entertainment of watching Alex Cross solve a kidnapping takes over. And in truth "Along Came a Spider" is on par with the majority of big screen thrillers, loose with the story as action and perceived cleverness takes over.

8 months after his partner died in a sting gone bad, Det. Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman - Deep Impact) is forced back into action when he receives a call from Gary Soneji (Michael Wincott) who has just kidnapped Megan (Mika Boorem), the daughter of a Senator. As Alex starts work with the FBI and agent Jezzie (Monica Potter - Patch Adams) it seems like Soneji is purposefully toying with him, trying to play Alex and the FBI with some sort of bigger plan. But slowly Alex begins to realize that things may not be as they first appear.

Monica Potter as Jezzie Flannigan in Along Came a Spider (2001)

So let's get some big negatives out of the way with first and those are that in order to seem clever things happen which are just wrong. We have a few too many twists which when they pan out they don't make sense of some of what we discover and then there are those little moments where it is trying to be clever. In particular there is a scene featuring a web cam in the school which if by some hi-tech black magic leads Alex to a clue and a remote access web-cam, it is so wrong that it is laughable.

So we have the negatives and they are big but if the opening to "Along Came a Spider" grabs you then these issues make you don't care and we have a decent double opening. There is the sting operation which goes wrong and that is followed by Megan's kidnapping both featuring some enjoyable action. As such if watching Megan get kidnapped spikes your interest then as the story unfolds and we have Alex unravelling the case the huge plot holes become less important especially as we have various nice moments of action, from a scene featuring exploding batteries to a ransom scene on a train.

As such "Along Came a Spider" is your typical modern thriller which aims to entertain by mixing action with drama rather than being original or imaginative. And it is on par with the majority of thrillers with Morgan Freeman doing a solid if forgettable job of playing Alex Cross for the second time. In fact all the performances from Monica Potter as Jezzie to Michael Wincott as Gary Soneji are forgettable but that is down to the cliche characters they all play.

What this all boils down to is that "Along Came a Spider" is a solid but forgettable modern thriller which does nothing really bad but neither is it memorable. So okay it has huge plot holes and a twist or two too many but with the focus being on entertaining rather than delivering a tight, clever story it works.