The second Alex Cross film adaptation starring Morgan Freeman, which was released in the year 2001. Directed by Lee Tamahori, with a supporting cast including Monica Potter, Michael Wincott, Dylan Baker.
Megan Rose (Mika Boorem), the daughter of a U.S. Senator, is kidnapped from a private school, and the perpetrator, computer-science teacher Gary Soneji (Wincott), challenges detective Alex Cross (Freeman) to catch him.
This film has examples of:
- Age Lift: Cross is implied by the original book to be in his forties or early fifties, and Freeman was 63 at the time when the film was made.
- Big Bad: "Gary Soneji", who kidnaps Megan Rose to play games with the authorities. He is eventually upstaged by Jezzie Flannigan, who seeks to profit greatly from his kidnapping of Megan.
- Chekhov's Gun: As he's visiting Agent Flannigan's home, Cross admires a shotgun that her dad won from a poker game. It is later used against Soneji when he crashes the place.
- Continuity Nod: An article about the Casanova killer from Kiss the Girls can be seen when Cross goes through Jezzie Flannigan's computer.
- Criminal Mind Games: After kidnapping Megan, Soneji contacts Cross to start a game between him and the authorities, so that he'll be "properly appreciated".
- Dead Man's Hand: Aces and eights is referenced as the winning hand that gave ownership of a Turkish hand-made shotgun to the father of Agent Flannigan and later features a clue that reveals her involvement with the kidnapping plot.
- Death by Adaptation: Flannigan is killed in a confrontation with Cross, when in the book she lived to see her execution.
- Despair Event Horizon: When confronted by Cross with evidence of her complicity in Megan's kidnapping, Jezzie Flannigan comes close to tears as she realizes that her life and her career were now ruined. Faced with execution if she surrendered to Cross, Flannigan tries to shoot him only for Cross to shoot her in the heart.
- Evil Plan: In order to become as infamous as Bruno Hauptmann of Linbergh baby kidnapping, Soneji kidnaps Megan in order to reel in an even greater catch: her classmate Dimitri, the son of the Russian president.
- Futile Hand Reach: Cross and Tracy futilely reach for each other just before the car she's in falls down at the end of the opening scene.
- Jurisdiction Friction: Played straight then subverted . The Secret Service chief McArthur is at first cagey and defensive about having a simple detective like Cross being brought in lead the case, but later approaches him and apologizes, says he thinks jurisdiction arguments are "a massive waste of time", and then asks what he can do to help.
- Latex Perfection: Soneji worked as a teacher in the school he kidnaps Megan from for two years, and is able to disguise himself by wearing a foam rubber mask.
- The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Agent Flannigan mentions the significance of the phrase "Aces & Eights" to her, while she's using it as a password to her computer.
- Ransom Drop: After Soneji's plot to kidnap Dimitri, the son of the russian president is foiled, the authorities get a call from him demanding ten million diamonds in exchange for Megan Rose's life, and Cross has to make the hand-off. After being forced to follow the requisite convoluted path, he's made to jump on a train just before the doors close, and then, while it's moving, break the windows and throw the ransom out.
- The Reveal: Agent Jezzie Flannigan, who partnered up with Cross to help with te kidnapping case, is revealed to have been on the know of Soneji's plan so that she and her partner Agent Devine can profit from it by stealing her from him, and asking for a ransom of ten million dollars.
- Self-Made Orphan: Soneji tells Cross that he killed his parents by burning their house down. He also insinuates that's what inspired him to seek fame in crime.
- Would Hurt a Child: While Agent Devine has reservations about shooting Megan after the ransom is collected, his partner in crime Agent Flannigan doesn't share the sentiment, which she expresses by shooting him first.