A dark city, a constant downpour, a serial killer who the cops can't catch, and
a brilliant detective who is the only one capable of finding him. With a tried
and true formula like this, how could a film possibly go wrong? By being
utterly, ridiculously implausible. Another example of how fine acting from the
leads can't save a script this unbelievable.
Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington) was once a brilliant detective, but a falling
pipe crushed his spine and his will to live. Despite support from his friends,
Thelma (Queen Latifah) and fellow detective Paulie (Ed O'Neill), he has decided
to end his life before his injury escalates and he becomes a vegetable.
However, Paulie wants his help on one more case, which involves a killer taxi
driver who is leaving clues for the police. Lincoln agrees, but only if young
officer Amelia (Angelina Jolie) will be his eyes and ears by filming crime
scenes and reporting to him.
As I said, the acting here is really quite good, particularly from Denzel
Washington. It's remarkable what a performance he can deliver, despite being
able to move only his head and one finger. Angelina Jolie delivers an adequate
performance, but seems rather miscast. As always, it's a pleasure to see Ed
O'Neill in a film. Being known almost entirely for his role as Al Bundy on
"Married With Children", it's good to see the talented actor trying his hand at
something new. Michael Rooker (Cliffhanger, Tombstone) makes an appearance as
the useless Captain Cheney, whos character seems present only to hassle the
investigators and irritate the audience.
Speaking of implausibilities, how long do you believe a train takes to stop?
Quite a long time, at any rate. According to "The Bone Collector", it takes
maybe 20 yards to come to a complete stop. The scene involves Amelia just
having found a body and a clue which lies on the train tracks. She stands in
front of the train, yelling for it to stop and waving her arms back and forth.
The clue is a piece of paper held down by a bolt. This could very easily have
been moved off the tracks, but this wouldn't have been nearly as tense a scene
Another nice, impossible scene involves Amelia searching for a book which will
reveal the identity of the killer, according to Lincoln. The first store she
looks for this rare book in happens to have it, and she discovers its location
by reaching to the top of a shelf and pulling a pile of books down. The novel
in question lands right on top, turned towards her. As for the identity of the
killer, I guessed it as soon as he appeared on screen; but when his identity is
truly revealed, it comes completely out of left field, so don't even try to
guess his motives.
"The Bone Collector" runs a little too long at 118 minutes. I'd recommend it
only for die-hard fans of either the genre, or Denzel Washington. Even if you
fall under one of these categories, I'd still suggest waiting for video.
Feel free to e-mail with comments at: JABII@aol.com
* * * * * - One of the greatest movies ever made, see it now.
* * * * - Great flick. Try and catch this one.
* * * - Okay movie, hits and misses.
* * - Pretty bad. See it if you've got nothing better to do.
* - One of the worst movies ever. See it only if you enjoy pain.
Copyright © 2000 John Beachem