September 24, 2023

KISS THE GIRLS (4K): "Didn't I See That Once?"

1997 / 115 min
Available at
Review by Tiger the Terrible😼

James Patterson’s novel, Kiss the Girls, is as unremarkable as the three dozen others he’s cranked out featuring his most popular character, forensic psychologist Alex Cross. And if not for Morgan Freeman, one could say the same thing about this film adaptation.

Not that Kiss the Girls is a bad film. It’s well-paced, competently directed and features a solid cast. Like a lot of pulpy potboilers, the story is fairly interesting in the moment, but unlikely to resonate too much afterward. It’s one of those movies where today we ask ourselves, ”Did I see that one? It’s got Morgan Freeman, right?”

That’s because Freeman is easily the best part of the movie. Though not nearly as cynical as Detective Somerset in Seven, he brings similar authority and gravitas to Alex Cross, who has distinctly personal reasons for getting involved in an ongoing investigation of missing women in Durham, North Carolina, a few who’ve turned up dead. One of the missing is Cross’ niece, Naomi.

"I give up, guys. Where's Waldo?"
While Cross assists the local police, led by detective Nick Ruskin (Cary Elwes), the killer known as ‘Casanova’ snatches Dr. Kate McTiernan (Ashley Judd), imprisoning her in a dungeon-like hideaway with his other surviving abductees. But Kate is resilient, able to fight back and escape. After recovering from her ordeal, she insists on helping Cross find Casanova and the other women. But it turns out that Casanova isn’t quite working alone. 

Kiss the Girls includes a lot of the usual tropes…the arrogant killer, the cop who shows the locals how it’s done, a little narrative deception and a “surprise” twist during the climax. We kind of expect all that, even without having read Patterson’s prose. As such, the film more or less delivers, though we never feel as uneasy as we’re obviously intended to. Still, it’s ultimately worth watching (or revisiting) for Freeman’s authoritative performance.

Like the film, this 4K release is as basic as they come. Having never seen the previous Blu-ray, I have no basis for comparison, but the overall picture & sound quality is solid (though nothing that’s gonna knock anyone’s socks off). Other than a digital copy, there are no bonus features.



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