The Bone Collector
January 31, 2000

I had been really looking forward to seeing this film at the Davis for some yet-to-be-determined reason. It wasn't great, but I really enjoyed the experience. Viva la cinema!

Director Philip Noyce, famed director of mediocre thrillers (Sliver, The Saint), brings us another mediocre thriller. Thankfully this one stars Denzel Washington, who always manages to raise the level of whatever film he happens to be in. He plays Lincoln Rhyme, a paralyzed, suicidal forensics detective who gets drawn into solving a serial murder case.

Bizarrely-lipped Angelina Jolie plays patrolman Amelia Donaghy, who Rhyme enlists as his eyes, ears, arms and legs after he sees photos she takes of one of the crime scenes she comes across while on duty. Apparently NYC is in dire need of forensics detectives, resorting to a patrolman for a high-profile murder case (but hey, she's up to the task, who woulda thunk it).

If you don't know already, there's something I should tell you. Actress Angelina Jolie is none other than the daughter of Jon Voight, patron saint of the Davis Theater!!! This ups the coolness of Bone Collector by several notches, I reckon.

So, the film proceeds along the lines of your modern-day crappy murder mystery (Kiss The Girls, Copycat). There's a long, long parade of red herrings, the killer leaves silly clues that even the Riddler would think were too obtuse, and we witness a couple of gruesome deaths. It was kinda boring, but damn it, I had a good time.

I'm afraid I will have to end this review on a downbeat note. Several months ago I was in the midst of developing a horror movie theory which I had hoped to submit to a glossy, highbrow film journal. Unfortunately, this movie has crushed my idea so much that even the bozos at Film Comment won't look at it.

I had postulated in an earlier review that, in horror films, secondary characters played by rappers would always survive.

However, Lincoln Rhyme's caretaker Thelma, played by Queen Latifah, regrettably is knifed to death in the penultimate scene of the film. Why, God, why?! Perhaps I can limit the theory to male rappers?

See you at the movies. Save me the unstained seat.