Kiss the Girls [1997]

Coming after The Silence of the Lambs and Seven, this thriller about a collaboration between two serial killers feels like a pale attempt to cash in on the success of those earlier, better films. That's a pity, because this film certainly has its strengths--particularly in the central performances of Morgan Freeman as a forensic detective and Ashley Judd as a would-be victim who escaped from one of the killers. Director Gary Fleder demonstrates visual flair and maintains an involving undercurrent of tension, but as this adaptation of James Patterson's novel approaches its climax, familiar elements combine to form a chronic case of thriller déjà vu. It's altogether competent filmmaking in the service of a moribund story of competing psychopaths, and by the time the serial killers reach the home stretch of their twisted contest, the movie's dangerously close to Freddy Kruger territory, with a finale that could've been borrowed from any dozen similar thrillers. --Jeff Shannon

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Detective Nick Ruskin:
How are you feeling, by the way? You feel like you're getting back on your feet?

Dr. Kate McTiernan:
I guess if I felt solid anywhere it should be in this house. I've been in it one way or another my whole life. It was my great aunt's. But I don't know. It's just different now. Something's off. I used to walk in the middle of the night down to the corner market for a quart of milk.

Detective Nick Ruskin:
That's true. I mean, people just get complacent. It happens.

Dr. Kate McTiernan:
Would you please hand me the big chopping knife.

Detective Nick Ruskin:
The department gives courses of self-defense.

Dr. Kate McTiernan:
I've been thinking about spending more time at the dojo.

Detective Nick Ruskin:
Kick boxing's fine, but that's not what I mean. I'm talking prevention. We teach things like, uh, varying your routine. Keeping your lights on at night. Maybe getting a dog. I'm sorry. Does this bother you?

Dr. Kate McTiernan:
It's good. I need to hear it.

Detective Nick Ruskin:
Just simple things like, um, carrying personal alarms. Taking your garbage out the morning of. Not using cordless phones. Anyone with a scanner can listen in.

Dr. Kate McTiernan:
What does taking your garbage out the morning of have to do with anything?

Detective Nick Ruskin:
Night before, anyone can tear through it.

Dr. Kate McTiernan:
Who in the world possibly cares how much tuna I eat?

Dr. Kate McTiernan:
Would you rinse this for me, please?

Detective Nick Ruskin:
Think about it. A guy could come by, say, Tuesday night, 3 in the morning, dump your trash in one of those 30-gallon plastic sacks. Haul it down to an abandoned lot and bingo! There it is. What a lady eats, how often she shaves. He can even tell a lady's time of the month. Anything you want to know. What kind of lipstick she wears, and used condoms. How often's she gettin' it? Twice a week? Three times? The same guy, different guys?

Detective Nick Ruskin:
Of course, that doesn't apply to you. Let's face it. In your case, it's been quite awhile. Not since that, that surgeon. What? Six, seven months ago? You were special, Kate. Do you have any idea how much time I gave you? Months. Yes, months. I sacrificed for you, but now I'm going to show you sacrifice. What are you going to do? Are you going to cut me? Do it!

Detective Nick Ruskin:
Good girl.

Alex Cross:
Don't do it, Nick.

Dr. Kate McTiernan:
Alex.

Alex Cross:
Let's talk about it, ok? You want to put the lighter down, Nick? Please?

Detective Nick Ruskin:
She has to know.

Alex Cross:
She knows, Nick.

Detective Nick Ruskin:
Then why don't you shoot me?

Alex Cross:
Ah, I don't think so. Muzzle flare, room full of gas, all that, you know? Look, Nick I'm gonna put the gun down. Look, see? There now. How's that? I want you to think about this, Nick. If you do this, no one will ever understand.

Detective Nick Ruskin:
Oh, don't mind fuck me!

Alex Cross:
No, I'm not, Nick.

Detective Nick Ruskin:
See Kate? It's all about building rapport. You use the subject's first name, and your tone, you gotta keep it soft and steady.

Alex Cross:
Establish eye contact, seek his level.

Detective Nick Ruskin:
You wanna know the truth, Alex? You're the one who really needs help.

Alex Cross:
Well, enlighten me, Nick. Tell me what the truth is.

Detective Nick Ruskin:
Truth is looking at a beautiful woman, like our Kate here, and saying to yourself, I gotta have that. I gotta break her down. It's your basest animal self. Dig deep, Alex. You'll recognize him. He's ugly.

Alex Cross:
I've run into him now and then.

Detective Nick Ruskin:
Go ahead. Reach for the Glock and take me down before I tell you about the 10 days I spent with Naomi. 10 days, Doc. Things she'd never tell you. My brown sugar, face like an angel. Perfect, every inch of her. You never knew Naomi. Not like I did. Deep down, you envy me that. Say it.

Alex Cross:
I don't work like you. I don't, hate.

Detective Nick Ruskin:
You only wish you had the courage. Good night, sweet Kate.

Detective Nick Ruskin:
.

Alex Cross:
Kate. It's alright Kate.

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