The Bone Collector

"OK"

The Bone Collector Review


It's time to hold a wake for the tired clichés of the serial killer thriller. In fact, it's time Hollywood put the whole genre to bed.

I say, from now on, unless a director can promise to at least give "Seven" or "Silence of the Lambs" a run for their money, no more of these pictures should be green-lighted.

These movies, in which gifted cops track the grisly murder sprees of guiltless psychotics through gritty urban landscapes, have become as standardized as their low-brow cousin, the slasher flick.

Many of them exploit women as helpless victims while pretending to empower them through the fortitude of an intelligent female lead. Most of them feature some kind of isolated, criminologist sage who guides the investigation and a killer who leaves unnecessarily complex calling cards. And nearly all of them jettison their mock intellectual intentions in the last reel for a red herring suspect and a prefabricated finale in which the killer comes this close to killing one of the heroes before being shot -- half a dozen times and usually at point blank range -- by someone whose hands shake when they hold a gun.

Color "The Bone Collector" guilty on all counts.

The movie stars Denzel Washington as Lincoln Rhyme, a famous New York City forensics cop (and true crime textbook author) sidelined by an on-duty accident that left him almost completely paralyzed and prone to seizures that have him contemplating assisted suicide.

But thanks to a bedroom full of high tech gadgets, he still serves as a consultant on tough cases, which is how he gets involved with Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie), a savvy, street-smart beat cop who discovers the first victim of a ridiculously meticulous killer who enjoys leaving wildly complicated puzzle-clues at the scenes of his crimes.

The bed-ridden Rhyme (rapper Queen Latifah plays his nurse) takes a shine to Donaghy and convinces her to become his pupil, because apparently in the four years since his accident the NYPD hasn't found any other competent forensic cops. Rhymes insists that she gather all evidence in the wake all this psycho's crimes while our invalid coaches her on procedure through on a radio headset, allowing them to form a unique bond that blossoms further in person.

Even virtually immobile, Washington is great actor and lends the picture credence, even when his double-espresso Sherlock Holmes-ing gets a little too far out to be believed. Instantly recognizing turn-of-the-Century plumbing supplies and knowing exactly where to find them (and by extension the next victim) in the bowels of Manhattan? I don't think so!

But Washington makes us buy it and director Phillip Noyce ("Patriot Games," "Clear and Present Danger") does manage to keep "The Bone Collector" respectable throughout most of its running time, maintaining tension without going too far overboard on the gory visual details of what this killer does to his prey as he taunts Rhymes with evidentiary enigmas that he races against time to solve before each victim's demise.

The stunningly talented Jolie ("Gia," "Pushing Tin") is just as strong as Rhymes' reluctant but Brooklyn-tough apprentice, who has a nose for this work but not the stomach.

These two captivating leads pilot the movie through a minefield of logical blunders and clichés that result from screenwriter Jeremy Iacone's attempts to simplify the wildly complex Jeffery Deaver novel on which the film is based.

But eventually Iacone succumbs to his inner hack (he wrote the screenplay for "One Tough Cop," which was nothing but clichés) and once the killer is revealed (it has to be someone in the cast, of course), the entire movie ceases making sense and becomes so insultingly generic that it ruins everything good that came before it.



The Bone Collector

Facts and Figures

Run time: 118 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th November 1999

Box Office Worldwide: $151.5M

Budget: $73M

Distributed by: Universal Studios

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures Corporation, Universal Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 28%
Fresh: 24 Rotten: 61

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Lincoln Rhyme, as Amelia Donaghy, as Thelma, as Captain Howard Cheney, as Detective Kenny Solomon, as Eddie Ortiz (as Luis Guzman), as Richard Thompson, as Dr. Barry Lehman, as Steve, Amelia's Boyfriend, as Detective Paulie Sellitto, Richard Zeman as Lieutenant Carl Hanson, Olivia Birkelund as Lindsay Rubin, Gary Swanson as Alan Rubin, James Bulleit as Train Engineer (as Jim Bulleit), Frank Fontaine as Grandfather, as Granddaughter, Desmond Campbell as Taxi Inspector

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.