Release Date: November 5th, 1999Cast:
Lincoln Rhyme - Denzel Washington
Amelia Donaghy - Angelina Jolie
Capt. Cheney - Michael Rooker
Thelma - Queen Latifah
Paulie Selitto - Ed O'Neill
Director: Phillip Noyce
Trailer: End Of Days ($$$1/2) Sleepy Hollow ($$$1/2) Gone in 60 Seconds ($$) Girl, Interrupted ($$$ ) The Hurricane ($$$)
Note: Trailer ratings are based on upon my opinion of how well it is done, and/or how much it makes me want to see the movie)
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If this is the case, then Jonathan Demme, and David Fincher should be sitting back feeling very flattered at the moment. Phillip Noyces latest effort, The Bone Collector pays tribute to three of my favorite films from this genre, Copycat, Se7en and Silence of The Lambs. It borrows the basic layout for them, fills in some blanks, and tosses back an acceptably entertaining movie.
I sat through this movie, watching intently, but never intensely. I was in a sort of cinematic déjà vu hypnosis of seeing it before, being there before, yet not really minding, since I was enjoying myself. The setup, execution, and conclusion of this movie are all pretty much textbook, if not a little bit forced. There are the original twists thrown in, of having a bed-ridden detective, and a fresh body to do his bidding and "go where he cannot." However, this originality is not really that gripping. What keeps you watching is the way is the way the performers execute what we already know is coming. Washington is limited to being in bed the entire movie (a nice paycheck Im sure to just lie around Denzel) while Jolie gets to do the dirty work for the most part. I have seen her do better, and this really does not stretch her range, or pad her resume, but it is not detrimental either. Overall, the performances deserved a much better story to be in, both leading, and supporting, headed up by Latifah, and Mr. Bundy himself, Ed O'Neill (with his hands in view at all times). I almost felt sorry for them at times, for some of the lines they had to say, and do. In the end, however they did the best with what they were given
The movie is entertaining, but without ever being completely enthralling. We know pretty much what is coming, but stay along for the ride, because we enjoy it, and hope for a little something extra. Similar to why we buy the same candy bar over and over again. We know what were going to get, but every now and then, we get a pleasant surprise. Such as a Snickers bar with a few more nuts, or those extra few M & Ms in the package (yes, Im a choco-holic, so sue me for the sweet references). Some of the storylines are even skimmed over, introduced, and then never really completely dwelled upon. We are shown Washingtons bed ridden wishes. We are given Jolies reasoning for being a cop. We see Rookers vendetta against Washington. Why are these stories here? I really have no idea, and neither, it seems, does the film maker. Why also, does romance have to be an issue, in a movie where a male and female work together? Another of many Hollywood and genre stereotypes that are exploited here. It was always fitting, and always seemed to make sense. Here, it just seems to be thrown in to get our attention, and shock us into seeing the horror of the situation. Where is the originality Mr. Noyce, where are your special touches and stamps on things?
So far, this has seemed pretty negative towards the film, but au contraire. This is not a bad movie, its just not a great one either. It does boast an intensity that is missing in movies these days. With the horrors that reality has shown us recently, it doesnt really seem that far fetched that this could happen. However, as I have harped on previously, what is the need for excessive gruesome scenes, in order to get our attention. This is one of the many things that separates it from its predecessors. Se7en and Silence had some gore, but it all seemed to fit and be pertinent. Here, it just seems to be thrown in to get our attention. The need to shock us, pull the rug out from underneath us, appears here as well, in the ending. It is not out of the blue, and does make sense, if you pay attention, but is definitely nowhere along the lines of The Sixth Sense or Arlington Road.
Ultimately, Bone Collector is not a waste of time, but may be worth a wait to see on video. It works as a companion piece to the serial killer movies, and an acceptable, but not necessarily memorable entry into the genre. Copying is not always a bad thing, but utter duplication is. Bone Collector tosses in just enough originality and intensity to be entertaining, but not enough to be outstanding. What did it need? Well, a less predictable storyline, less following of Hollywoods standards as to what they think we want, less blood and guts, and a little more intelligence and originality. See it at your video store, unless you are a fan of the genre, then you may actually get a bit more out of it at a matinee. ($$1/2 out of $$$$)
Go To Reel Rambling Page