Morgan Freeman Month #4: Unforgiven, Along Came A Spider

Unforgiven

The 1992 film Unforgiven is an action packed western drama directed by Clint Eastwood stars Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman and Richard Harris. The film was released to critical and global acclaim with many saying it was Eastwood’s best directorial moment. Eastwood himself also stars as pig farmer William Munny. Set in Wyoming in 1881 the film follows the strict sheriff Bill Daggett who unlike most towns in that time doesn’t allow guns or any type of criminal behavior under his watch. It was at a pivotal time for America’s West, gunfighters and cowboys were a dying species and law enforcement was trying to run them out of small towns. After a brutal crime is committed where a pair of prostitutes are disfigured and left for dead the two culprits are well-known cowboys. What follows is a manhunt for the pair with a whopping $1,000 bounty on their heads.

Whilst the movie delves deep into the serious issues of violence in the West during the late 1800’s, the film is classic Eastwood and so the dialogue and conversation aren’t quality like the performances and scenes. Unlike some of Eastwood’s other films Unforgiven is pure genius, especially when it comes the casting of characters. Freeman suits the role of Manny (Eastwood’s character) partner in crime and business, his attitude and strength shines through magically and is definitely one of the highlights of the film. Unforgiven is a masterpiece in itself and is definitely worth a critical watch.

Along Came a Spider

In 2001 the sequel to Kiss the Girls, Along Came a Spider both adapted for screen based on James Patterson was released. The psychological thriller sees Morgan Freeman return as forensic psychologist Dr. Alex Cross. Directed by Lee Tamahori with a strong support cast including Monica Potter and Michael Wincott the film kicks off when the daughter of a US state senator is kidnapped by a computer science teacher. What follows is a series of unfortunate events that not even Freeman can save the senators daughter from.

For the next 105 minutes, the audience is dragged through an array of confusing, tense and awkwardly filmed scenes. Not enough Freeman himself could save this movie from being a below average movie with too many loopholes, blackholes, and mistakes to count. Although this movie only saving grace is that it does hold your attention, with plenty of surprise and shocks probably every couple minutes. Morgan Freeman is an excellent and much-loved actor and you can probably forgive him for being a fairly unlikeable and frustrating character in Along cam a Spider if he promises to never do another underrated and less than satisfying thriller again. Lee Tamahori does a good job keeping Along came a Spider semi afloat, the film doesn’t like the depth of character development it’s just a little too confusing that there are so many missed opportunities and somewhat obvious answers to the characters questions.

Whereas in Unforgiven the story line is solid and easy to follow with enough action and suspense to keep the audience entertained, Along came to a spider lacks all the necessary elements of a successful film.

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