Movie #31 2021: The Bone Collector (1999)

Yes, I unintentionally watched two Angelina Jolie movies in quick succession. Is that a bad thing? Not at all!

The Bone Collector is actually not too dissimilar to Taking Lives in that they’re both sinister serial killer type films, and in each, Jolie plays a police officer or FBI agent of some sort. Why would she take two roles that are pretty much the same within a ten year span? I honestly don’t know. The difference with The Bone Collector is that it was actually based on a novel by mystery and crime writer, Jeffery Deaver, and this time, Jolie works in tandem with Denzel Washington; a former forensics expert named Lincoln Rhyme, who is now mostly paralysed after an accident at work. Rhyme immediately sees something in Jodie’s character Amelia, who has only been recently recruited into the force. Joining forces, the pair of them work together in order to solve a string of obscure and brutal murders that are happening across New York City.

There really was a bunch of people trying to recreate what David Fincher did with Se7en in the nineties, huh? Whether anyone can actually achieve that is another matter completely, and whilst this is an admirable effort, it doesn’t quite reach the heights of Fincher’s shocking crime thriller.

To be fair to The Bone Collector, it probably got such average reviews because of all the comparison to the previously mentioned highly popular movie – it was released only 4 years earlier, after all. Lucky for me, I don’t suck Se7en’s dick as much as most people (excuse my French), so I actually let myself enjoy this too! No, it’s not technically as good a movie, but it’s certainly still entertaining. Maybe if more critics didn’t get too bogged down in pitting movies against one another and just experienced them for what they are, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Washington and Jolie make a dynamic duo, it has to be said; the characters are interesting, and whilst the story is your regular serial killer fodder, it remains gripping and well constructed. See? Giving a non-Fincher movie a little bit of credit isn’t that hard, is it? Now we can all breathe.

Aesthetically, it’s grainy and dirty looking, which is actually something I love about 90s movies like this, so that definitely didn’t bother me. It’s pretty average in terms of camerawork and the tone alongside its narrative is the same as every other movie in this genre, but if it ain’t broke, why fix it? It’s not GREAT, but it’s assuredly not terrible. 

Okay, okay. So it also ends like every other movie in the genre, but to be fair, I didn’t actually figure out who the killer was before it was revealed, so they must have done something right. In the end, the stellar performances outrank the material, but it was entertaining enough. 

Now, the most important part of this review for those who have already seen this movie: The Bone Collector is a Christmas film! Who’d have thunk it?

The Bone Collector is available to rent on Amazon for £2.49 in the UK.

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