Noyce expertly builds palpable tension around a series of gruesome murders that lead us into the darkest nooks of New York City.
Now a bedridden quadriplegic prone to life-threatening seizures and suicidal depression, forensics detective Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington) gets a new lease on life with a sharp young beat cop (Angelina Jolie) who's a wizard at analyzing crime scenes. She does field work while he deciphers clues from his high-tech Manhattan loft, and as they narrow the search their lives are increasingly endangered. As this formulaic plot grows mouldy, Noyce resorts to narrative shortcuts, using perfunctory scenes to manipulate the viewer and taking morbid pleasure in his revelation of the murder scenes. And yet it all works, to a point, and the cast (including Queen Latifah and Luiz Guzmán) is much better than the material. If you're looking for a few good thrills, The Bone Collector is a pretty safe bet. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington) is having a nightmare when this film opens. He is a cop at a crime scene, a heavy beam falling down on him, nearly cutting him in half and leaving him only the use of his shoulders and one finger. But the dream is a reality, a memory of what happened to bring this famous New York forensics expert to a point in his life when he wants to end it all. He wants to make that final transition and soar with the falcons who nest outside his high rise apatment. He fears that the next siezure will leave him a vegetable, something he can't begin to put his mind around.
When old pal Detective Paulie Sellitto (Ed O'Neill) asks for his help with a murder and kidnapping he begins to use his mind as he once did, thanks to the crime scene evidence procured by young police officer Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie), who had read his book, "Scene of the Crime", and preserved the evidence. The down side is the evidence itself, which tells Lincoln the time and place of the next victim's death, if there is time left to prevent it.
Rhyme is still on the New York Police Department payroll and a whole unit is set up in his place to figure out the puzzle. Rhyme requests the help of the reluctant Officer Donaghy and slowly, as he teaches her by headset how to walk the crime scene grid and find the evidence, a relationship begins to form. It has some stumbling blocks. A request to cut off a victim's hands so they can examine her shackles and the suicide of Donaghy's on the job father all help to form a complex working relationship between the two that by the end of the film may be more.
Add to this a killer who likes the history of Old New York and is leaving them forensic clues to each crime, in essence saying 'save them if you can', and you have a teriffic movie. There is fine support from Queen Latifaih as Rhyme's nurse Thelma and a very funny turn by Luis Guzman as colorful science expert Eddie Ortiz. Michael Rooker nicely portrays a pompous Captain Cheney, who resents the respect the C-4 Quad Rhyme gets from his fellow officers and his use of an inexperienced Donaghy to collect the evidence.
This is an exciting film about the pursuit of a killer by putting pieces of the puzzle together until they fit. He picks up his victims in a taxi and likes things that are old; guns, shackles, newspapers, buildings, etc. But the secret to his crimes may be found in the public library, in an old book about crimes in turn of the century New York. The title of the book, of course, is "The Bone Collector". But it won't prepare anyone for the real motive for the killings or his next intended victim.
This is one for a big bowl of popcorn watched with the lights off. Denzel gives a wonderful performance with his face and his eyes alone. Angelina Jolie does a fine job also, her obvious discomfort at the first crime scene evolving into confidence under Rhyme's intelligent tutelage. The resolution to the crimes is tense and exciting and Rhyme is faced with a personal decision of life or death.
Director Phillip Noyce has crafted a very old-fashioned mystery thriller and the score by Craig Armstrong creates a very suspenseful and at times sad atmosphere not to be forgotten. You'll like this movie a lot. It is definitely one you have to own.....
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