"Kiss the Girls"

as published in the October 24 edition of the DePaulia

	In the familiar vein of such past films as "Seven" and "Copycat," 
comes the latest entry into the serial murder genre, "Kiss the Girls."
Under the direction of Gary Fleder (who also helmed the quirky "Things to
do in Denver When You're Dead"), this film showcases many of the familiar
elements of its predecessors, yet it also weaves some new angles and
aspects into the story.
	Starring one of the better actors around today, Morgan Freeman
("Shawshank Redemption," "Seven," although we can't forget his roots on
"Electric Company,"), the film relates the tale of what appears to be a
kinky serial killer.    Freeman plays Alex Cross, a forensic psychologist
in Washington, D. C., who gets involved in the case that plays out
in Durham, North Carolina, because one of the victims is 
his niece (Gina Ravera).
	Naturally, I won't reveal any spoilers here, but the fact
that the bad guy *appears* to be a serial killer is one of the 
more original aspects of the screenplay that set this film apart
from others in the genre.   One of the victims somehow not only escapes,
but manages to establish contact with some of the other previous victims.
It is she who provides the authorities with the best leads and clues they
can get.   This escapee, Kate, who also happens to be a doctor, is
authoritively played by Ashley Judd ("A Time to Kill," established with
"Ruby in Paradise").   Freeman and Judd formed a decent, very
charismatic, if unlikely, team, which only lent itself to reinforcing the
underlying charms of this picture.  
	"Kiss the Girls" contains more substance than meets the eye.
Despite the two lead characters getting a sufficient amount of screen time
to establish and develop their chemistry, I was left wanting for a further
and deeper exploration of their characters, especially as a team.  Of
course, an achievement such as this is considerable, and is a mark of a
quality film.   It is refreshing to see originality and character
development utilized successfully here.

Rated R (violence; mature themes)