Although The Bone Collector sports solid performances from lead actors Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie and a supporting cast that includes Queen Latifah and the underrated Michael Rooker, the talented performers cannot save this creepy little movie from eating itself.
Jeremy Iacone’s script from Jeffrey Deaver’s book cannibalizes the dark, moody atmospherics and plot twists and turns from every serial killer movie from the ‘90s, which, apparently, was the decade of serial killers. Shades of Silence Of The Lambs, Seven, Copycat and Kiss The Girls permeate the film, which owes as much to Rear Window as to anything else. Unlike Hitchcock, however, director Philip Noyce injects no humor or suspense into this sadistic affair.
Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington) is a legendary forensics detective, wheelchair-bound since being paralyzed in the line of duty. Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie) is a beat cop who happens upon a horribly mutilated corpse. Rhyme is drawn into the case when he notices subtle clues that indicate a serial killer might be involved. Donaghy becomes the quadriplegic’s eyes, ears, legs and arms as they try to discover the identity of the psychopath and stop him before he kills again.
Been there. Done that.
The interesting part of the story -- a decorated cop cut down in his prime protecting and serving -- was ignored in favor of a rather trite psychological thriller. The potential for a law enforcement version of Whose Life Is It Anyway? or Born On The 4th Of July definitely exists in Denzel Washington’s mad skills as an actor. Alas, we got The Bone Collector, instead.