After the huge success of Se7en, many directors tried to replicate the formula. The Bone Collector is a solid serial killer thriller well worth watching. The atmosphere is dark and ominous amplified by excellent performances. Denzel Washington carried the entire movie on his broad shoulders along with Angelina Jolie. He plays a quadriplegic forensics expert trying to catch a vicious killer. Since he cannot move from his bed, Denzel relies on Jolie to be his physical manifestation in the world.
This twist helped the rather familiar and predictable story feel better and more unpredictable. It’s also somewhat reminiscent of another classic nineties serial killer movie The Silence of the Lambs. And even more so of Copycat starring Sigourney Weaver as an agoraphobic psychologist trying to solve a similar case. So, you pretty much know what’s going on here. A game of cat and mouse between the police and an intelligent killer leaving clues and taunting the police. The mystery of his identity kept the atmosphere engaging as you keep guessing who’s he and what’s he was going to do next.
Still, you can feel a certain cheesiness seeping from a lot of scenes and concepts. For example, Angelina Jolie plays an ordinary cop and not some hotshot detective. And some of the action scenes are contrived and even funny at times. Especially if you’re a fan of these sorts of movies. At the same time, all of this makes it much easier to watch and more entertaining than its grim counterparts. And I’m sure you’re going to recognize almost the entire supporting cast.
After a horrific accident, forensics expert Lincoln Rhyme is bed-bound but he doesn’t let that stop him from doing his job. And the people of New York City are going to need his help when a serial killer starts his killing spree. He will join forces with a rookie cop with a knack for solving mysteries and a bunch of experienced detectives in an effort to catch this maniac.
With a budget of $50 million, the production values and the cinematography of The Bone Collector were excellent. The same goes for the set design as we will be visiting some pretty horrific places. The kills happen in dimly lit underground places looking like hell on Earth. They’re quite gruesome but most of the nasty stuff happens off-camera. The pacing is solid and we won’t spend much time idling. In the end, The Bone Collector might not be the best serial killer movie but will do in a pinch. Especially if you’re feeling nostalgic about these old-school nineties thrillers featuring a familiar structure. If you’re looking for similar movies, you can always check out our Rabbit Reviews selection of Serial Killer Movies worth watching.
Director: Phillip Noyce
Writers: Jeffery Deaver, Jeremy Iacone
Cast: Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah, Ed O’Neill, Michael Rooker, Luis Guzmán
Fun Facts: In the original novel, the character of Thelma (Queen Latifah) is a man, Thom.