Movie Magazine International

The Bone Collector

USA - 1999

Movie Review By Heather Clisby

Just finished watching "The Bone Collector", directed by Phillip Noyce. What a phenomenal waste of prime ingredients this film is. They took a suspenseful story, an ideal setting - New York City - worthy actors (Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Michael Rooker, Ed O'Neill, Luis Guzman) and somehow it was all poured into a predictably shaped pan and popped into the Hollywood Formula EZ-Bake Oven.

Once again, the over-scored soundtrack actively emoted like it really wanted to be a sweeping epic - the kind that would make Gwyneth Paltrow cry. These sort of frying-pan-over-the-head emotional cues remain my #1 peeve of these Hollywood Factory movies. Have they forgotten how scary real-life sounds - especially silence - can be? I hate how stupid it makes me feel, like I need to be hand-held through my own reactions. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

Furthermore, I'm a fan of Angelina Jolie but man, did they let her get on my nerves! I have had cleavage shoved in my face through films before but never a pair of lips! She is a gifted actress, I know, but this job just paid the bills for her, I imagine. Her character is cold, distant, petulant, stubborn and so naturally gifted in forensics, she gets congratulated every five minutes. She's the perfect match for Lincoln Rhymes, played by Denzel Washington, a paralyzed former captain of New York's Finest and a superhero expert in the world of forensics.

Another disappointment in this film is the neglect of the power and beauty of Queen Latifah, who is the loyal nurse, Thelma, in the employment of Rhymes. The foolish script demands that the sexual tension and romantic neon arrows must point between Washington's character and Jolie's, despite the fact that the natural chemistry is popping and sizzling between the bedridden cop and his protective nurse.

This film wants to be an intellectual, reluctant-buddy-cop, crime drama - like "7" - but it truly lacks brain. At one point, many clues lead to an old book, called The Bone Collector which illustrates many of the recent murders. A fascinating find, can't wait for someone to read it! Nope, too much work. We never see the book again and no mention is ever made of it in relation to the crimes.

Very sloppy, they really left me hanging and not in a clever way but in a careless one. Phew! It stinks. Maybe in a few years, someone will come along and re-do this film the right way.

© 2000 - Heather Clisby - Air Date: 5/3/00

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