Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
Quadripeligic ex-cop Lincoln Rhyme was looking forward to his assisted suicide when he got the news: some sicko was abducting people in a taxi and leaving them to die in particularly sadistic ways. With time counting down between each abduction and possible death, Rhyme recruits rather-unwilling Amelia Donaghy, haunted by her cop father's suicide and thinking she's next, into working the crime scenes to track down the killer. Written by
Jeff Cross <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A bed ridden, paraplegic NYC detective, Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington), teams up with a rookie cop named Amelia (Angelina Jolie) to try and catch a serial killer, in this dark, moody atmospheric thriller from Director Phillip Noyce. This is a fine thriller.
From the get-go viewers understand that an intelligent maniac is on the loose, and could strike at any time. That is the very definition of cinematic tension. In addition, the killer uses dark, subterranean spaces to torture and kill victims. That inky darkness, together with a haunting musical score further amplifies suspense.
But, the solution to the whodunit puzzle is ultimately unsatisfying because the screenwriter withholds important back-story from viewers. This could have been so easily fixed with the addition of a line or two of dialogue and/or a brief added scene near the film's beginning. Even so, good plot misdirection creates ample red herrings, so that the killer's identity is not a foregone conclusion.
The film's cinematography, production design, and editing are fine. Washington does a good job as the paralyzed cop. But Angelina Jolie is miscast; she pouts her way through the film looking like she's bored out of her mind. The support cast helps a lot, with highly credible performances from delightful Queen Latifah, capable Ed O'Neill, and reliable Michael Rooker.
The crime scenes tended unfortunately to be in-your-face grizzly. But at least the gore quotient was minimal.
For dark, moody serial killer films set in NYC, I prefer "Sea Of Love" (1989). Nevertheless, "The Bone Collector" can be enjoyed for its elevated level of suspense, its fine cinematography, and its generally high level of acting. Be advised, however, that the film's finale may be a disappointment if you expect all the whodunit puzzle pieces to fall into place, neat and tidy.
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