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The Serial Killer Movie Gets Another Dull Outing
The Bone Collector (DVD)
Member Name: wampyrii
The Bone Collector (DVD)
Date: 11/03/01, updated on 11/03/01 (46 review reads)
Advantages: some good moments
Disadvantages: generally dull and unoriginal, fails to build atmosphere
Stars: Denzyl Washington, Angelina Jolie
Support: Quuen Latifah, Michael Rooker, Mike McGlone, Luis Guzman, Leland Orser, John Benjamin Hickey, Ed O’Neill
Director: Philip Noyce
I can not say I was expecting this to be a great movie when I saw the cast list. I am not a big fan of (The increasingly typecast)Denzyl Washington and the idea of seeing him in yet another detective role didn’t exactly get the heart pounding with anticipation. Looking further down the list we come to Queen Latifah, a female rap artist whose usual role is to get shot within minutes of being introduced into a movie and then we move on to Ed O’Neill famous for playing Al Bundy in the US sitcom Married With Children...things did not look good. Furthermore, we have the old tired serial killer plot dragged out again but this time with yet another ‘novel’ twist to separate it from the rest. However, there was little else in the video store so I rented it anyway, on the off-chance that it might turn out better than it looked.
Denzyl Washington plays Detective Lincoln Rhyme, a brilliant forensic invesitgator who is now a quadraplegic stuck in a hospital bed unable to move anything but his head and right index finger after a horrific accident suffered whilst investigating a murder scene. One day, we are told, the seizures he suffers will leave him in a permanent vegetative state. He thinks about nothing but accelerating his own demise to avoid suffering this inevitable indignity - that is until rookie traffic cop Amelia Donaghy(Angelina Jolie) stumbles across a murder scene and attracts Rhyme’s attention through her superb preservation of the evidence in the face of aversion. He takes her under his wing and she acts as his eyes and ears on the street as the investigation turns into a full scale hunt for a serial killer. The mystery unfolds...what does the novel ‘The Bone Collector’ have to do with the investigation?...why does
the evidence keep twisting back to the police force?...why does the captain keep trying to divert attention from the investigation and block attempt for deeper probing?...Why does Hollywood insist on giving us the same old rubbish time and time again, draining a genre dry and continuing to try and wring out the last dregs...
This movie offers little more than the standard serial killer fare which we are ‘treated’ to several times a year by Hollywood. In fact, it is a highly unoriginal rip-off of the highly under-rated ‘Copy Cat’ which stars Sigourney Weaver as an agoraphobic detective who directs Holly Hunter to catch the killer. In aspiring to reach the heights of its predecessors such as Seven, The Bone Collector fails miserably to even come close. Once again we have the elaborate murder scenes, the taunting of the police with a strange trail of clues and a fair amount of blood and gore, but this time we have a poor cast of actors and a rather boring plot which drags along until it reaches a truly cringeworthy conclusion. Denzyl Washington is not his usual proud, imposing self in this movie, but fortunately gives us an excellent understated portrayal of a brilliant mind trapped within a broken body. His performance shines through, although maybe looking better thanks to the tripe which he is surrounded by. Angela Jolie is incredibly whingy throughout and hard to find convincing or likeable and Ed O’Neill (who is apparently a heavyweight on the stage in the US) looks ridiculously out of his depth on the silver screen. The serial killer when finally revealed is probably the most unconvincing ever, and his motives laughable. The one good thing to come out of this movie is, suprisingly perhaps, Queen Latifa who, being given a part which involves more than simply being violently murdered for once, shows that she does actualy have some acting talent, maybe not enough to take a lead role, but certainly good enough to be one of the m
ain supporting cast members in another movie and outshines the other more ‘serious’ actors on show here(outside of Washington of course).
As is the fashion with Hollywood movies at the moment, much of the ‘interesting stuff’ is filmed with very dark lighting(perhaps to cover up for a cheap set?) which is annoying to say the least and doesn’t add to the atmosphere which this movie fails to build up anyway due once again to the casting. Ed O’Neill just makes me want to laugh with that constant pained expression and Angela Jolie just isn’t convincing enough to draw you into the story. That isn’t to say that this is a really bad movie though, rather that it is yet another attempt to stretch further a really tired genre. The ‘novelty’ value of having a paraplegic detective is hardly enough to make this movie different enough to be interesting and if you have seen Seven, Silence of the Lambs etc. then you’ll probably find this a rather poor movie in comparison. Yes, it has some slick direction from Philip Noyce(Dead Calm) and some saving performances by Washington and Queen Latifah at least, but overall the storyline asks you to leave your brain in a locker for the evening otherwise you’ll guess the identity of the killer simply by his absence or see some of the gaping plot holes which we are expected to swallow. For instance, Washington is in trouble...yet instead of calling a unit close by his house on her radio, Donaghy travels all the way across town to save the day. Swallow that one and then open wide for the next dose. We are constantly asked to play dumb in this movie which despite its big budget, has obviously not splashed out too much on storywriters. As a result we end up with a movie which is not exactly clever or particularly appealing and therefore should be a long way down your list of ‘ones to watch’.