A forensic psychologist hunts down a serial killer
with the help of one of the killer's escaped victims.
Kiss the Girls (1997)
Directed by Gary Fleder
Written by David Klass
Starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Cary Elwes, Alex McArthur, Tony Goldwyn, Brian Cox, Bill Nunn, Gina Ravera, Jeremy Piven
Based on the novel by James Patterson
I love me a good serial killer thriller, but I've also never really thought James Patterson was a great writer. He cranks them out like there's no tomorrow. He makes Stephen King look like George R.R. Martin. As a result, his stories come off as fairly generic, and translating them to film doesn't really help. Despite fantastic performances from Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Cary Elwes, I couldn't help but feel that Kiss the Girls was lacking something. It drags, it's predictable, and it never goes as far as it could. I think if this had been a full-blown horror movie, it could've really been something to write home about.
Meet Alex Cross (Freeman), one of Patterson's most famous protagonists. He's a forensic psychologist whose niece has been captured by a serial killer known as Casanova. With no leads and a ticking clock, things look up when Casanova's latest victim, Dr. Kate McTiernan (Judd), escapes. Alex and Kate pursue Casanova, and eventually find him. There really isn't much in between the escape and the big reveal. It's actually pretty dull. But the ending, where the true culprit is revealed, is pretty good, mostly because of a jarring moment where a certain character's accent abruptly changes. That was neat and pretty creepy.
Kiss the Girls wasn't terrible, but it could've been so much better. Serial killer dramas rarely stand out. They all tend to take the same route. Sometimes you get a Zodiac or a Silence of the Lambs, but most of the time they fall flat due to a dull script.