Kiss the Girls is not quite SE7EN, but not quite bad either. Kiss the Girls is a good serial killer movie that entertains for two hours.
After seeing the previews, I thought Kiss the Girls might be a blatant rip-off of SE7EN. It has Morgan Freeman, who was in SE7EN and it has an intelligent serial killer whose identity is not known. Also, it is a movie, like SE7EN, that is more interested in why the killer is doing what he is doing more than about catching the killer. Catching the killer is only the means of driving the movie forward.
Morgan Freeman is Dr. Alex Cross, a forensic psychologist. He finds himself going to Durham, North Carolina to help out on an abduction case, the abducted happens to be his niece. What he finds when he gets there is that his niece is only one of many girls kidnapped by a serial rapist and killer who calls himself Casanova. Ashley Judd is Kate McTiernan the only woman to escape from Casanova (she knows kickboxing). Together Cross and McTiernan go on the hunt for Casanova.
The movie is somewhat predictable. The most predictable is the identity of Casanova, whom I guessed correctly after the credits finished. (Director Gary Fleder should have taken note that David Fincher chose to not include the name of the actor portraying the serial killer in SE7EN during the opening credits). By the time the end rolls around, Fleder throws the audience a fake bone to try to trick us into thinking that Casanova is someone else, but it doesn’t work.
It is quite easy to think that a comparison can be drawn between Kiss the Girls and SE7EN, but the differences are there. Here’s some: the ending to SE7EN was quite a surprise and quite shocking. The ending to Kiss the Girls is of the standard Hollywood fare. John Doe in SE7EN had a clear-cut purpose for what he was doing. Doe had a message that he was preaching. Casanova has a purpose to his madness also, but it is not so clear. Casanova does spread the word of what he does, but he has no message that he wants to preach. Though Director Fleder handles the director’s duties just fine, he doesn’t come close to making the film look as good as Fincher does.
With all this said, Kiss the Girls in the end is entertaining. This is because of the great performances by the two leads. Freeman is always a command presence on screen, and that does not change here with Kiss the Girls. His performance is intense. Judd adds yet another great performance to her list of great performances. She does very well in Kiss the Girls.
Though not as good as SE7EN, which Kiss the Girls will inevitably be compared to, Kiss the Girls is nonetheless entertaining. It has its frightening moments and its share of action. And it comes as a fairly interesting film about a serial killer. This is a Don’t Miss film, though see it at a matinee showing.