The Bone Collector (1999)

Another serial killer movie? Didn’t we as an audience learn our lesson already with Kiss the Girls? Apparently not with this latest adaption of standards and predictability that does nothing more then reinvent the old blaming the butler routine. And may I affimingly add that whoever the critic who gasped that this is on par with the masterpieces of Silence of the Lambs and Se7en either is lying through their teeth or has their children’s college education payed exclusively by Universal.

The Bone Collector has fancy gloom, grit, and gore, but it has no substance whatsoever. The script has the feel of being pasted together from leftovers of earlier better movies. It takes one illogical shift after another until the supposedly “surprise payoff” ending comes charging in but echoes more of a unified feel of rip-off instead. Contrivances are in abundance with every scene, and further prove the superiority of Lambs and Se7en in how well they achieved perfectly tuned thrills. The Bone Collector‘s biggest disappointment is in its utter lack of substantial entertainment when the core of the movie is Angelina Jolie getting dirty in dark places wielding a flash light. This kind of stuff may have worked at summer camp around the fire to scare people, but on the big screen the only ones to cower in terror will be the extensively naive.

Not to lambast this clunker too much, because there is some credible acting from the star leads. Denzel Washington at least makes his role non-laughable which is saying a lot in respect, and Jolie looks like she is a fresh talent but this ain’t her vehicle to hitch on to. Her “gifted” police specialist at finding evidence doesn’t seem to special to me with the easily found clues that anyone could trip over.

The suspense in The Bone Collector boils down to flashes of gore and jumps to frighten instead of the meticulous psychological and intense battles in Lambs and Se7en. The serial killer genre is at a glut again, and The Bone Collector is merely the fat of that over-extension that would serve best to be cut loose.

Nate’s Grade: C-

About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on November 8, 1999, in 1999 Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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