In this standard prequel to the action-thriller Kiss the Girls, Freeman reprise his role as Washington DC's Zen detective Alex Cross, a happily married criminal profiler, writer and catch-penny philosopher who makes galleons as a hobby. But at present his confidence has been eroded by guilt over the death of his partner after a car crash at a dam. When Cross receives a tip off about an abduction direct from the perpetrator, he finds himself up against a publicity-seeking psychopath intent on upstaging the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. Regrettably, every transition in this adaptation of James Patterson's novel is rammed home by the emphatic score and by the derivative enthusiasm of the brash direction. As Cross's temporary new partner, blonde, neat, pretty (and unlikely) Secret Service agent Potter is a moist-eyed, quiver-lipped and inept protector of a Senator's 12-year-old daughter Megan (Boorem, stoic). If Freeman's gravitas, feeling and expression lift the film out of the ordinary, Tamahori's over reliance on his star's 'natural dignity' leaves it tainted by self-conscious positive attitudinising.
Cast and crew
Penelope Ann Miller