[box cover]

The Bone Collector

Phillip Noyce's The Bone Collector is the latest entry in the saturated "psychological thriller" marketplace, a genre which exploded into being with the runaway success of Se7en and Silence of the Lambs. But unlike the many copycat films which have appeared at your local multiplex in the intervening years, The Bone Collector manages to tell a scary, arresting story — one which owes it chilling success to first-rate performances and skillful direction. Based on the haunting psychological thriller by Jeffery Deaver (one of this writer's favorite crime writers), The Bone Collector is the story of Lincoln "Linc" Rhyme (Denzel Washington), a brilliant criminal theorist who finds himself paralyzed from the neck down after an on-the-job accident. Although trapped in a shattered body, the Holmes-like theorist still possesses every ounce of his intellectual prowess. But even Rhyme's staggering mental abilities are taxed to their limit after a serial killer, posing as a New York taxi driver, begins carving up his passengers and dismembering their corpses. Rhyme teams up with Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie), a gruff, no-nonsense rookie cop with a talent for forensics. Unfortunately, their relationship is one of the movie's (and book's) only stumbling blocks — the "partners who initially despise each other but eventually grow to become best friends" motif has been used in nearly every cop film ever made (including the recent Chan/Tucker comedy Rush Hour, and the Wahlberg/Chow thriller The Corruptor), and its clumsy, predictable handling in The Bone Collector only serves as a distraction. But never fear: the character of Donaghy is acted with such pinnace by Jolie that it's not a difficult flaw to overlook. The Bone Collector is not a masterpiece, but it's a fun, better-than-average offering in a genre long overdue for a breath of fresh air (and a surprisingly faithful adaptation of the novel to boot). Suspense-thriller fans will almost certainly have fun soaking up the macabre atmosphere. The film is presented in a nice, though occasionally dark, anamorphic widescreen transfer. Also includes an informative audio commentary track with director Phillip Noyce, a "making-of" featurette (one the best we've yet seen), a generous amount of production notes, and a theatrical trailer.
—Joe Barlow



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