ot;Along Came a Spider" begins promising, but its web quickly spins out of control.
   For the second time in his career, Morgan Freeman plays detective Alex Cross. The first time was in 1997's "Kiss The Girls," although he also played the same type of role in the 1995 film "Seven." I didn't particularly care for Freeman in "Seven," but his portrayal as the quiet voiced crime solver has started to grow on me.
   This film is an adaptation of James Patterson's novel. It revolves around a kidnapper named Gary Soneji (Michael Wincott), who after abducting a senator's daughter (Mika Boorem), calls Cross on the phone and asks him to personally join in on the case. Cross doesn't seem to have a choice and begins trying to put the pieces together.
   Cross is joined by secret service agent Jezzie Flannigan (Monica Potter), who holds herself personally responsible for the missing child because she was on duty at the school where the kidnapping took place. Potter's character is young, naive and admires Cross because she wants to learn from him.
   The rest of the film is a man hunt. We watch closely as Cross finds the clues that nobody else can (the type of unbelievable clues that anyone can find as long as the script allows them to). He is played like a puppet by Soneji and plays along for the sole reason that he wants to find the victim alive.
   "Along Came a Spider" is predictable for the most part and is implausible. Ending plot twists can sometimes sink or swim a film. This one drowns.
   There seems to be just one twist too many. Without the final sequence, this film could have been a lot more than it is.
   With all of its flaws, the film still marginally holds its entertainment value.
   Freeman plays his role as well as he can, as does Potter, who is one of today's best new stars. If you haven't seen Potter before, watch her in "A Cool Dry Place" or "Without Limits," where her efforts are equally impressive.
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