Gary Felder directs Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Cary Elwes in this serial killer thriller where genius detective Alex Cross gets personal and chases the murderous kidnapper who just added his niece to a menagerie of beautiful captive women.
OK… so it’s not Se7en. It still satisfies as a throwaway Friday night thriller. I would buy a ticket to one of these if they still made three of them a year for the last two decades. Expensively shot, well cast, moving at a pace so fast you can’t really pause to question just how rickety it all is. Just like one of Patterson’s airport page-turners then. They weren’t original or particularly well written but the chapters last three pages max and neatly always ended on cliffhangers and tantalising question marks. I used to read them on my bus journey home from my first pub job and it would be a race to cram in as many twists and turns as possible. This is Morgan in his comfort zone – a star who oozes wisdom, class and educated masculinity – solving a mystery by being the smartest guy in the room. He’s a joy to watch even in formulaic pap. It is fair to say the film doesn’t fully squeeze all the juice from a gleefully exploitative premise. Felder plays it maybe a setting too tasteful. Yet you have to give the director points for making the identity of the killer so so obvious that you spend the final half constantly second guessing yourself that he must be a bright crimson red herring and someone… anyone… else will be revealed to be the big bad! That is brinkmanship of the highest order. Judd is as good as she gets too.
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We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/