25th Anniversary of Kiss the Girls
On October 3rd, 1997, Kiss the Girls was released in the cinema. Kiss the Girls was directed by Gary Fleder who was fresh from Things to Do In Denver When You’re Dead. He followed this one up with Don’t Say a Word, Runaway Jury and Homefront. The movie is based on the Alex Cross character created by James Patterson. Kiss the Girls screenplay came from first-time writer David Klass, who only has a couple more credits to his name. They include, Desperate Measures, Walking Tall and Emperor.
Kiss the Girls sees Dr Alex Cross (Freeman) heads to North Carolina and goes in search of a serial killer that has branded himself Cassanova. The local detectives Ruskin (Elwes) and Sikes (McArthur) have been coming up short and Cross knows his niece has become one of the latest missing girls.
When Kate Mctiernan (Judd) is the latest woman abducted by Cassanova. She learns about the others being held captive and uses her own skills in self-defence to escape. After Kate escapes, she teams up with Cross as they search for the location, she was held captive.
This is an intense story, that deals with a serial killer and the hunt for them before they take their latest victims. It keeps us guessing and continues to bring twists along the way.
Kiss the Girls was made from a budget of $27 Million and made $60 Million at the box office. This makes it the second most successful film in the franchise. Where Along Came a Spider brought in $105 Million, which does include the international box office, data not available for Kiss the Girls. The 2012 Alex Cross movie did a lot worse at the box office, only managing to make back its budget of $35 Million. Kiss the Girls was the 47th highest-grossing movie of 1997, again without international income. If we are generous and give it the same numbers as Along Came a Spider, it would put it around 36th for the year.
Alex Cross Legacy
Alex Cross went on to appear in two more movies, first Morgan Freeman returned for Along Came a Spider. Secondly, Tyler Perry took over in Alex Cross. Despite the strong Box Office return. It is strange that Morgan Freeman’s run never got to make another Alex Cross movie. The failures in the Box Office didn’t help the Alex Cross reboot get started.
Kiss the Girls did the right thing by bringing in Morgan Freeman for the role of Alex Cross. The 1990s saw him in many supporting roles, from The Shawshank Redemption to Se7en. This was one of his first truly leading solo roles. Ashley Judd was fresh off Heat and A Time to Kill. Before following up this role with a string of thrillers. The Princess Bride’s Cary Elwes had quite the following after that movie, despite it being ten years prior. He appeared in some of the most successful 90s movies before this with Liar Liar, Twister and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. There are also smaller roles for Entourages Jeremy Piven, Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s Tatyana Ali and American Pie’s Mena Suvari.
Kiss the Girls only received a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, Roger Ebert was one of the fresh reviews quoting ‘Freeman and Judd are so good, you almost wish they’d decided not to make a thriller at all — had simply found a way to construct a drama exploring their personalities.’ USA Today critic Mike Clark was less favourable though quoting ‘Even those engrossed by the build-up here are likely to kiss off the rest after suffering through Girls’ groaner of a wrap-up.’ The Rotten Tomatoes scores are nearly identical for both of Morgan Freeman’s outings.
Metacritic uses a different formula. One that gives films a chance to be more average, instead of only good or bad. 17 reviews, the score is 46, with 10 reviews being mixed, three negatives and four positives. The positives include Roger Ebert’s previously mentioned review with a score of 88. The scores match up with Along Came a Spider too, being only a couple out, with more mixed reviews than anything else.
A fun “B” movie: a fun story well told and acted with no higher aspirations isn my opinion except to entertain…and you are right – why did they walk away from this franchise with Morgan Freeman? Hmmm…
We can only wonder, I am planning on doing more anniversary styled posts in the future, so hopefully they will be interesting to read
I enjoy these, and to confirm: my use of “B” movie is a compliment, like “Malice” or even “Fatal Attraction” – stories meant to offer suspense without pretension…