Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Bone Collector

Movie Name: The Bone Collector
Year of Release: 1999
Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah, Michael Rooker, Luis Guzman, Michael McGlone, Leland Orser, John Benjamin Hickey, Bobby Cannavale, Ed O'Neill, Richard Zeman
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis & Review:
Following the success of both "Clear and Present Danger" and "The Saint", director Phillip Noyce tackled another genre film, this time around adapting a novel by Jeffery Deaver. The film focuses on two police detectives: one a brilliant mind, who due to an accident is a paraplegic tied to a bed, and a recently graduated one, equally deft and intelligent, but still trying to understand where she stands. These two professionals are brought together, when some dangerous killer starts abducting people in a taxi and leaving them to die in particularly sadistic ways. With time counting down between each abduction and possible death, they both have to figure out what the motivation for these rituals are and profile this killer, so they can successfully prevent this from happening again.
Phillip Noyce has had an interesting career in Hollywood, mixing more commercial fare with films that speak clearly to his origins (he's Australian) and sensibilities as a film maker (one can compare his more commercial films such as "Salt" and "Patriot Games" versus his more personal films such as "Rabbit Proof Fence" and "The Quiet American"). "The Bone Collector" is simultaneously one of his most underrated and yet also most successful films since it knows it's just a procedural with really handsome people. As most films with serial killers which popped up in the late 90s, this film is deeply influenced by David Fincher's "Seven", but has the hook of having the main hero tied to a bed, and making the partner a young and beautiful female police officer. The film rode the popularity of having Angelina Jolie in one of the main roles, just as her career was taking off, which elevated what is a somewhat competent, but already heavily scrutinized subject matter. The film features good work from Craig Armstrong, on the score, and Dean Semler on cinematography (who won an Oscar for Kevin Costner's "Dances with Wolves"). A solid film from an interesting director.