Kiss the Girls (1997)

kiss the girls poster 1997 movie morgan freeman ashley judd
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Mindless thriller, Judd and Freeman

Weird story set-up lacks pacing or thrills

Movie Info

Movie Name: Kiss the Girls

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Genre(s): Mystery/Suspense/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  September 10, 1997 (Deauville Film Festival)/October 3, 1997

MPAA Rating: R

kiss the girls ashley judd kate escapes

Ashley woke up on the wrong side of the bed

Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) learns his niece Janell (Tatyana Ali) has been kidnapped from her college by a serial killer calling himself Casanova.  When another of Casanova’s victims named Kate Mctiernan (Ashley Judd) manages to escape Casanova’s trap, Cross teams with her in the hopes of finding the place she escaped.  Time is running out for Janell and Alex and Kate must find and stop Casanova before he kills again.

Directed by Gary Fleder, Kiss the Girls is a suspense detective thriller.  The film adapts James Patterson’s 1995 novel.  It was released to relatively poor reviews but was a financial success.

With great films in similar veins like The Silence of the Lambs, Kiss the Girls was always facing an uphill battle.  The movie smartly brought in a decent cast and shot it in a good location, but the story and characters really don’t seem do much for me.

kiss the girls alex cross morgan freeman ashley judd

So…let’s hunt a serial killer I guess…

The film’s story is oddly complex.  You have Cross pulled in to the case for his niece but then you have to wait for Kate to get kidnapped (and escape) for the story to really start moving.  It has a number of “false” leads which seem obviously false, but of course, Alex Cross sees through them just in the nick of time.  You know watching the film that everything is going to end up ok.  I just wish that the movie had finessed the story to make the ending more compelling.

Morgan Freeman works as Alex Cross since the character isn’t necessarily a “superman” type of detective.  He isn’t jumping off buildings or doing a lot of hand-to-hand combat.  Ashley Judd is ok as his costar, and I do think if nothing else, they work well together.  The movie has roles by Cary Elwes, Brian Cox, Tatyana Ali, and Jeremy Pivens, but the film primarily works with the relationship between Freeman and Judd.

kiss the girls casanova mask

I’m you’re Casanova!

The film doesn’t look too bad.  I like that the movie utilized the real North Carolina area for a lot of exteriors and some of the shooting style is a step-up from the standard thriller.  It does feel very set based in a lot of ways and the sets are pretty basic.

Kiss the Girls is no Silence of the Lambs no matter how hard it tries to be.  The “thrills” aren’t all that thrilling and the chills likewise aren’t chilling.  It is simply a goofy, quick movie that you don’t have to waste much time or thought watching…plus, the movie soars in comparison to the sequel which is even less compelling.  Kiss the Girls was followed by Along Came a Spider in 2001.

Related Links:

Along Came a Spider (2001)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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