The Bone Collector

1999 ∙ Psych. Thriller ∙ 1h 58min

Rating: [star rating=”2.5″]

It’s amazing the promotions machine behind this movie didn’t shout to the rafters the fact that director Phillip Noyce was the culprit behind not only Sliver, but the impossibly bad The Saint. Unfortunately for Noyce, he hits many of the same snags he did with those other movies, a weak plot and the need to fill time with useless shots that add nothing to the movie but cheap jumps and sappy imagery. Examples of this are this are totally ridiculous shots of a weird monkey figurine with a noose around its neck hanging from the rearview mirror of the killer’s cab and a stupid slow motion Peregrine falcon shot that is supposed to symbolize Lincoln Rhyme’s (and don’t get me started on that name) symbolic flight from his paralyzed state. First, the monkey figure has no significance other than letting the audience know it’s the killer’s windshield through which we’re looking a certain points and, second, the falcon is a groan-out-loud cheesy attempt at imagery. Ugh, I can only hope the studio made him put the shot in there. In my Hitchcock class in college, we talked about the difference between a twist ending and a surprise ending. A twist ending allows you to look back through the movie and say to yourself., “Damn, that makes sense, how did I not figure that out!” A surprise ending means the scriptwriter wasn’t smart enough to figure out a way to mask the killer’s identity enough to not allow the audience to figure it out, and then, Surprise!, uh, this guy is the killer! These kind of endings usually end in shootouts, and you could care less about the guy who ended up as the guy who dunnit. Welcome to the ending of The Bone Collector. I didn’t care, except for the fact the city Syracuse is mentioned three times in the span of ten seconds. Anyway, Angelina Jolie is going to get a lot of work from this movie, and if Phillip Noyce isn’t married, I have a feeling I know who would be first on his wish list. There are several times during the film where the camera just lingers on close-ups of Jolie’s sensuous face for what seems like an obscene amount of time. The movie, based on a book, has much the same feel as The Alienist but without its sophistication and intricate plot. It also has the feeling of a watered-down Se7en, but less stylized and dark. All in all, the film has a very Hollywood feel to it, and leaves you wanting more.