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Angelina Jolie Does Anneka Rice
The Bone Collector (DVD)
Member Name: Ophelia
The Bone Collector (DVD)
Date: 02/05/03, updated on 02/05/03 (156 review reads)
Advantages: Exciting plot, good pace, Denzel Washington
Disadvantages: Angelina Jolie's lower lip
The Bone Collector was met with acclaim and critics and cinema-goers alike gave favourable reports. In such situations I often find myself disappointed when I (being both behind the times and penny-pinching) watch the film myself on video some time after its release. Would this be in the case in this instance?
Denzel Washington plays Lincoln Rhyme, a police officer and expert in forensic investigation, who has been paralysed from the neck down with the exception of his index finger. When a serial killer strikes and seems to be leaving grisly clues to his next potential victim, Rhyme?s expertise is required to solve the case.
Being confined to a bed Rhyme enlists the help of Amelia Donaghy, played by Angelina Jolie, another police officer, to act as his eyes and ears in the field to attempt to track down the serial killer before more innocent victims die.
A GRISLY GAME OF TREASURE HUNT
The film has a constant atmosphere of urgency and a good pace to the action as the cops have forensic clues to solve to find the location of the next victim before they are killed. Although this ?race against time? technique is not original, it works well and the viewer is gripped from the start and their attention is held easily by the rapid pace of the plot.
One of the killer?s reasons for leaving these clues is to shift responsibility for the deaths of the victims on to the police. If they had tracked down the victim?s location more quickly then the victim would not have died and, therefore, it is the police?s fault and not the killer?s that the death occurred. One would think that this would have some effect upon the consciences of the cops involved but it does not seem to and their feelings in this regard are not disclosed. However, this does not affect the film and is only a minor niggle and can be explained away by the fact that the sequence of events unfurls so quickly that the officers do not have an opportu
nity to stop and think about the ramifications of the situation.
CHARACTERS AND ACTING
The character of Rhymes is intriguing. He is obviously a highly intelligent man. However, he suffers from fits, any of which could ?turn him into a vegetable? (as tactfully explained by his care professional!). Rhymes has decided that he will use assisted suicide to end his life before the fits do. This adds an added depth to his personality, as he can function extremely efficiently as a policeman and yet his personal background contains a restricted life period. This makes him a fascinating character and the viewer feels both sympathy and a desire to know and understand him more, which is echoed by the feelings of Donaghy.
Washington portrays Rhymes successfully. He is strong yet enigmatic and commands sufficient screen presence to centre the viewer?s attention upon his immobile character. Considering that his only movement is from his face and index finger, Washington must be given credit for being able to ensure the empathy of the viewers with little difficulty.
As the film commenced the character of Amelia Donaghy annoyed me. With the second victim Rhymes asked her to enter the crime scene alone, report on the evidence she found and to recover the handcuffs binding the corpse. Unfortunately to preserve fingerprints she must saw off the hands of the body, which she refuses to do and leaves the crime scene in floods of tears.
This evoked disdain in me, as she is a trained police officer who has a job to do. She also seemed selfish in her refusal to act, as some member of the force would have to do it, so why not her? She then stays out of contact with the investigating team until a colleague is sent to check on her. However, we are then informed of an occurrence in her past that may explain her reluctance to follow orders.
Her father had killed himself with a firearm and it was she who found the body. This is o
bviously a detail added to give depth to the character and to enable the viewer to empathise with her. Unfortunately I am a callous b*tch and it had the opposite effect. Nevertheless, the behaviour of her character throughout the rest of the film made up for this and I grew to have a grudging respect for her.
The film is extremely enjoyable. The plot is fast moving and exciting. There are sufficient murders to create interest and although the viewers are shown the details of the killings once they are discovered the murders as they occur are not seen and so although gory the film is not stomach-turningly grisly.
The acting was convincing and I came to respect and empathise with the characters.
In spite of my pre-conceived ideas due to the reputation of the film and the hideous site of Angelina?s Jolie?s bum-shaped bottom lip, I found the movie highly entertaining, utterly gripping and well worth the £2.75 rental!