Every so often there comes a beautifully written film that captures the essence of its genre and takes filmmaking to new heights. The Bone Collector, starring Angelina Jolie along with the head and index finger of Denzel Washington, is definitely not one of these films.
After being injured in the line of duty, a bedridden Lincoln Rhyme (Washington) teams up with a brash beat cop Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie) to solve a string of homicides–all from the comforts of his voice activated adjustable bed (what a trooper).
How on earth can a crippled cop possibly stop a serial killer? With the aid of a cell phone and a wireless headset, Donaghy becomes the body of the brilliant Rhymes who helps her through each grisly crime scene investigation. This makes watching the film about as interesting as dirt.
Each potentially exciting scene is reduced to something out of a B-movie in which a scared passenger seizes the controls of a damaged 747 and is being talked through the landing by the control tower. Enter excellent lines such as: "I’m with you every step of the way," "You can do it Amelia!," and "Talk to me Amelia! What do you see?" During each crime scene investigation, you keep expecting to hear the voice on the other end of the headset say "Welcome to the Los Angles International Airport. You should be very proud of yourself for getting that plane down in one piece!" (cue cheers of joy by other passengers).
As far as the plot is concerned, this film is one big cliché. How many times have we seen a serial killer that leaves mysterious clues behind, indicating when and where he’ll strike again? How many times have we seen an initially hostile male/female duo end up falling in love? How many times have we seen the hero, facing certain doom at the hands of the villain, get miraculously saved by his partner at the last second? Not to be forgotten is the hardass police captain determined to get both of them kicked off the case. In other words, if you’ve seen any sort crime thriller movie you’ve already seen The Bone Collector .
The film wasn’t completely devoid of redeeming features. The crime scenes themselves were perhaps the most interesting part of the movie. From an abandoned slaughterhouse to a sewer shaft, each location evoked the "Ewww, what a shitty place to die," feeling. Similarly, the way each victim met their demise proved equally interesting. Who would have thought that steam could be such an effective method of execution?
However, these two things could not have possibly made up for the terrible writing and extremely boring plot-line of this film I felt more suspense waiting in line for the men’s washroom after the show. Will I make it to the urinal in time?