The Bone Collector


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Bone Collector
"The killer's identity adds fuel to the flames of absurdity."

There is an awful lot wrong with this. And yet serial killers have a fascination. Nodding references to Se7en (gruesome crime scenes), The Silence Of The Lambs (rookie girl cop takes centre stage), Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer (Michael Rooker plays nasty police captain) and Rear Window (Denzel Washington can't move) ensure that originality is not one its attributes.

Lincoln Rhyme - even the name has pulp pretensions - writes books about the art of detection. Now, as a quadriplegic, ex-colleagues on the force still seek his advice.

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A phony New York cabbie has been abducting fares and bumping them off in particularly unpleasant ways, always leaving little clues for Rhyme to puzzle over. Amelia Donaghay (Angelina Jolie) is a young patrolwoman, who shows initiative at a murder site and is chosen to be his protege, despite being so delicately built even her uniform looks abusive.

The killer is consistantly ahead of the game. All the cops can do is react, or row with each other. Rhyme operates through a computer at home, while Amelia does his leg work. No sensible police force would put up with such nonsense.

Washington acts with his eyes, which is about all that works in Rhyme, and yet still resembles a tall man having a lie down. Jolie is so miscast, she almost brings the movie to a halt with her slow motion, shock horror responses to the mutilation of human flesh and the ingenuity of a murderous sadist.

The killer's identity adds fuel to the flames of absurdity. During the final showdown a muffled roar can be heard in the distance. It is Alfred Hitchcock rising from the dead.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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A paralysed cop hunts a serial killer from his bed.
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Director: Phillip Noyce

Writer: Jeremy Iacone

Starring: Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah, Michael Rooker, Mike McGlone, Luis Guzmán, Leland Orser, John Benjamin Hickey, Bobby Cannavale, Ed O'Neill, Richard Zeman

Year: 1997

Runtime: 162 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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