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Kiss the Girls

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Kiss the Girls

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd
Director: Gary Felder
Rated: R
RunTime: 17 Minutes
Release Date: October 1997
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

*Also starring: Cary Elwes, Alex McArthur, Tony Goldwyn, Jay O. Sanders

Review by Walter Frith
3½ stars out of 4

To get a stamp of approval in making a motion picture thriller you have to address three basic points of interest. Is it original? Is it predictable? Do you care about the characters involved? This is pretty much the rule for all movies but with thrillers there is a tendancy for the tension factor to run higher than other films. 'Kiss the Girls' pretty much succeeds as a clever film but it borders on repetition in many circumstances.

The story begins in Washington D.C., and Morgan Freeman plays a D.C. police oficer but his official title is forensic psychologist and his niece is missing and the worst fear of the family is that she's dead. His search takes him to North Carolina where the audience witnesses the abduction of a young doctor (Ashley Judd) and she is taken to a forest hideaway where the abductor has imprisoned young women separately like in a jail and taunts them with promises of his sexual prowess.

As a movie critic I refuse to write spoiler reviews so you'll have to see the rest of this movie to follow its sprawling second half. Morgan Freeman plays the role of the cop in much the same fashion he did in 1995's 'Seven' and since I despised that film, I tried to look deeper into the merits of this film. It does have good psychological tension and Freeman does carry the story well for most of the film and much credit should be given to Ashley Judd whose portrayal of the victim is very convincing.

I don't know about you but the one thing I hate the most in story telling whether it's a book, play, television piece or big screen movie is the red herring factor. If you don't know what that means it refers to throwing something at the audience without them seeing it coming. One of the most intense recent examples of this was in 1996's 'From Dusk Till Dawn' which started out as a great crime story but took a bizarre and ridiculous turn at becoming a vampire flick with junky results. 'Kiss the Girls' has a unique visual style and impressive direction by Gary Fleder who hints at what may occur next without it being a dead giveaway.

'Kiss the Girls' re-unites Morgan Freeman with Cary Elwes who both appeared in the American Civil War classic 'Glory' from 1989. Other members of the cast include Tony Goldwyn and Jay O. Sanders. This movie is not recommended for anyone that has ever had a criminal encounter involving abduction. It is vividly shocking and contains chilling scenes of terror which is not for all tastes. For others, you'll find it hard at times to leave your seat.

Copyright 1997 Walter Frith

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