Gary Fleder directed Kiss The Girls, a 1997 psychological thriller written by screenwriter David Klass. It is based on the detective novel of the same name by writer James Patterson.
Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) is DC Police detective and forensic psychologist who finds out his niece Naomi (Gina Ravera) has been kidnapped by a serial killer who calls himself Casanova in Durham, North Carolina. He meets with police investigators Det. Nick Ruskin (Cary Elwes) and Det. Davey Sikes (Alex McArthur) who are working the case with FBI Agent Kyle Craig (Jay O. Sanders). Soon, his latest victim Dr. Kate McTiernan (Ashley Judd) escapes. Because she was drugged at the time, her memories are cloudy, but she agrees to work with Cross to save his niece before it is too late.
Since I have not read the book, I cannot compare it in that way, so I will just focus on its qualities as a movie.
I found the performances of Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd were especially good. They had really good on-screen chemistry and Freeman did an excellent job as Alex Cross. Also, Judd does a good job. With all of the grandstanding she does these days, it is hard to remember that she used her talent for acting in strong roles like this one.
As for the movie itself, it definitely gives a creepy vibe when you hear Casanova speak on screen. His character, about from being a deadly criminal, is also sophisticated, citing poetry and kidnapping women who “strong-willed,” to break them down. I find this jab at elitism most interesting. While it does not evoke a sense of terror like many psychological thrillers, it is still entertaining.
I do have a few areas of critique for the movie. There is a subplot, and this has some minors spoilers, where they chase a suspect around and I found that this slowed down the plot a bit. If this had been cut out, I think it would have flowed a little better.
Bottom line, while it needs some trimming and ramp-up of the scare factor, this is an entertaining and creepy 90s thriller with excellent performances that are sure to make your skin crawl.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong foul language, Some bloody violence, Sexual content
FAVORITE QUOTE: I’m a forensic psychologist. It’s a fancy way of saying I’m a guy who walks into a room like that and determines the hows and whys.
Check out the trailer below:
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