The Bone Collector Reviews
Great chemistry between the two leads in this cat mouse thriller.
The Bone Collector skims over some of the context at the beginning of the story. It is established that protagonist Lincoln Rhyme is a quadriplegic and loosely how it happened, but it fails to emphasise what effect this had on his mindset. It also fails to establish the relevance that the case has to him which is explained further in the novel and gives the film a really generic beginning. SinceThe Bone Collector fails to capitalise on the concept behind its protagonist character, it leaves viewers wondering why they bothered to implement it in anyway. As a whole the film ends up having little to do with any characters and is more focused on being just another murder investigation. This is a problem because the investigation itself just fails to spark up any flares.
The story in The Bone Collector is pretty poor. The investigation dedicated to finding the titular Bone Collector is only mildly intriguing because the way that the characters look into the evidence is really familiar without all that much originality. By the end of the film, it all seems pointless because the killer lacks any creative motivations. He comes straight after the protagonist, and while it gives the film a rather effective climax, it renders the entire investigation pretty null. The killer's motivations seem pretty pointless, and it just turns the film into another generic thriller movie without sufficient strength to drive it forward with enough creativity.
Phillip Noyce's stylish direction does give the film a visual flair. The cinematography of the film is certainly atmospheric due to using a wide variety of stylish techniques and angles, and the scenery of the film is greatly convincing. The musical score of the film is intense as well which helps to add to the atmosphere, but all in all it does nothing for the lack of creativity in the film. The Bone Collector has a story which goes as far as a better crime thriller does in a third the time of all the running time it takes for the story to take one step forward before retreating straight back to the beginning. The Bone Collector is truly flawed because its most interesting character is confined to a bed for the entire movie while a more generic one is set in motion to be the hero of the story, and the antagonist is unknown until the last five seconds where his motivations seem ridiculously cheap. The ending to The Bone Collector is seriously lacking in creativity and is nothing more than the result of a poor setup. The language in the film is mostly strong, but the plot dynamics are something else. When I say something else, I mean something else you would have seen countless other times, so ironically they are not something else. If they were then perhaps The Bone Collector could have capitalised on Phillip Noyce's stylish and atmospheric direction a bit more. There is a lot of talent involved in The Bone Collector, but it is all wasted on a lacklustre story which is so full of generic plot elements that it never gives audiences any surprises except that the story legitimately turns out so ineffective that the spirit is never upheld. You can tell that there are good intentions to create a strong thriller in The Bone Collector, but the story just drags it all down.
The cast in The Bone Collector evoke an inconsistent response.
Angelia Jolie is an actress I tend to have mixed feelings about. I always find her to be significantly overrated and overhyped in countless films. With The Bone Collector, viewers are given the chance to see her in the small profile and familiar role of an investigator plagued by the wreckage of her past. But her character is a pretty weak one. For a Police Officer, she is very reluctant to do what it takes to successfully bring a killer to justice because they conflict with arbitrary fears of hers. A Police Officer needs to be strong and willing to do whatever it takes to bring a killer to justice, and Amelia Donaghy is not up to that challenge. She is a generic police officer character without determination, and so she is far from the hero that the story needs. Her melodramatic inner turmoil prevents the character from being a strong one whatsoever, and so from there little can be done with the part. While I liked seeing Angelina Jolie in such a restrained and simple role for once, it required little of her and so that is what she gave to the part. She isn't as strong in the part as she wants to be since she always sticks to a single facial expression, so it is not one of her performances worth boasting about.
Denzel Washington is very solid though. While the film fails to give him much of character despite the high-concept background of his existence, Denzel Washington's performance is easily strong. The role requires little of him, expecting him to lay still the entire time while all he does is talk and use his eyes to act the character out. He does an easily solid job of it because his line delivery is very confident and involved in the material. He brings his own natural level of sophisticated dramatic charisma to the part. Denzel Washington continues his track record of being the standout actor in any film he appears in, even though this time he is confined to a bed for the entirety of the movie.
Ed O'Neil also delivers a memorable and tense performance, and the supporting efforts of Queen Latifa and Luiz Guzman add to it as well.
But despite Denzel Washinton's charisma and Phillip Noyce's flair for a strong visual style, The Bone Collector comes up way too short in the story department by lacking any originality or sufficiently clever twists or turns to keep the investigation of the story stimulating.