The Bone Collector (VHS, 2000, Special Edition) Reviews
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The Bone Collector (VHS, 2000, Special Edition)

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Angelina Jolie and Denzel Washington Search for a Killer in Bone Collector

Nov 9, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Entertaining thriller with good cast.

Cons:Something tied to the mystery handled badly.

The Bottom Line: Bone Collector has some issues, but it works as an entertaining thriller.


I enjoy thriller movies and tend to give them a chance even though some of them end up being not so good.  I first saw Bone Collector back in 1999 when it was still in the theater.  I enjoyed the movie overall and decided to pick up the DVD when I saw it cheap.

Forensics expert Lincoln Rhyme has been paralyzed since he suffered a horrible accident while investigating the scene of a crime.  Lincoln isn't happy with his life and has given up hope of ever recovering.  Detective Paulie Sellitto visits Lincoln to get his help analyzing the evidence from a crime scene.  At first Lincoln isn't interested, but it isn't long before he gives in and gets the police officer who first responded, Amelia Donaghy, involved in the continuing investigation.  Amelia isn't happy about the situation, but she works the case and shows a skill at finding evidence in crime scenes.  The killer, who pretends to be a cab driver, is killing people in horribly gruesome ways, removing tiny shards of bone from his victims.  

Bone Collector is based on the book of the same name by Jeffrey Deaver.  When I first saw the movie, I hadn't read the book.  I did read it a few years ago and from what I remember, the movie stays fairly close to the book.  The book is the first in a series featuring Lincoln.

Time is taken at the beginning of Bone Collector to show how Lincoln got hurt.  He is briefly shown right before the accident, arriving at the crime scene.  I think it was good that the information about the accident was shared.  Some time is also taken to show certain aspects of Lincoln's daily life and a decision he's made.  He is very limited in what he can do, but he does have some special computer equipment that allows him to do more things.  The special equipment also allows him to analyze some of the clues and evidence.  The pace during some of the scenes that are more focused no Lincoln and his condition do move a bit slower, but they are still interesting and add to the movie.

The killer is shown very early in Bone Collector, but not enough of him is shown to be clear who he is.  His identity remains a mystery until late in the movie.  He pretends to be a cab driver to get his victims.  Each victim is killed in a different way, but there are some similarities.  The killer does leave behind a few clues that Amelia manages to find.  The mystery tied to the murders is the main focus of the movie and it works well overall.  I do have an issue with the revelation of the identity of the killer.  It just sort of comes out of nowhere without much connection to the clues or evidence that has been shared earlier in the movie.  That just wasn't handled as well as it should have been.  There is a decent amount of suspense in a few scenes.

A few different bodies turn up throughout Bone Collector and none of them are in good shape.  A few are in really bad shape and it is a bit disturbing to see.  Some of the images are rather gory and graphic and will probably upset some viewers.  Violence does turn up in some scenes, though there really isn't a lot of violence shown.  Most of it happens off camera and the aftermath is shown.  The violence that turns up is a bit graphic and could bother some people.  The movie deserves the R rating and is not something children should see.  When I saw the movie in the theater, a couple sat in front of me with a very young little girl.  She was maybe five.  She was very upset by the movie and was even crying wanting to leave because she was so scared, but they refused to leave.  

Lincoln is a very intelligent man who eventually ends up finding a way to do his job even though he is confined to a bed because he is paralyzed.  He does struggle with his condition at times and isn't optimistic about his future.  Denzel Washington does really well with the part.  He is more limited with what he can do since the character is paralyzed, but Washington does well and is believable in the part.  Thelma is Lincoln's nurse.  She seems to always be there and she cares about her patient.  Queen Latifah does well with the part.

Amelia is a young police officer who is preparing to transfer to a new division when she is sent to respond to a call at what turns out to be the first crime scene.  She quickly notices things that she feels are important clues and does what she can to document things and protect the area.  She does have a bit of an attitude at times and has a few of her own issues to deal with.  She is good at her job.  Angelina Jolie does well with the part.  

Paulie Sellitto is one of the detectives first assigned to the case and he decides to try to get Lincoln to help.  Paulie turns up frequently throughout the movie, though not much is shared about him.  Ed O'Neill does fine with the part.  Captain Howard Cheney turns up every so often.  Paulie reports to him.  Cheney seems fine with Lincoln being involved at first, but his attitude seems to change a bit as things progress.  Michael Rooker doesn't have that much to do.  Luis Guzman turns up every so often as detective Eddie Ortiz.  He does a lot of work with computer stuff and sets up some new things for Lincoln to use during the investigation.

Main Cast
    
Luis Guzman - Eddie Ortiz
Angelina Jolie - Amelia Donaghy
Queen Latifah - Thelma
Ed O'Neill - Paulie Sellitto
Michael Rooker - Captain Howard Cheney
Denzel Washington - Lincoln Rhymes

Phillip Noyce - Director

DVD Information

The copy of Bone Collector that I have on DVD has the anamorphic widescreen version of the movie.  There is something called Spotlight on Location that has some of the cast and crew talking about the movie.  There is a feature commentary with the director that I haven't listened to as well as production notes, information on the cast and film makers.  There are some DVD-ROM features that I haven't checked out.

Bone Collector is an entertaining, well done thriller that works well overall even though there is an issue with an aspect of the mystery.  Fans of the cast may find something to enjoy about the movie.

Angelina Jolie Movie Reviews
Changeling ~ Kung Fu Panda ~ Mr. and Mrs. Smith ~ Shark Tale ~ Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow ~ Lara Croft: Tomb Raider ~ Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life ~ Wanted ~


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Washington is Lincoln Rhyme, a successful police officer and author of crime novels. After a freak accident on the job, Rhyme is left paralyzed from t...
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