Sunday, April 10, 2011

Popcorn On - The Bone Collector

So I watched this earlier when there was a distinct lack of much else to do, since the heat has really started to move in and I'm loathe to turn on my PS3 until I get some real cooling going on in my room.  I'd remembered seeing this before and having a strong feeling towards the ending, but I didn't know what it was, so I decided, "Hey, Denzel Washington and Ed O'Neill.  I can watch this."  And honestly, I could.  You'll notice I neglected to mention Angelina Jolie, which was intentional as I don't normally care for her, but she did a rather good job, as did most of the cast.  Even Queen Latifa, somehow.

As a quick run-down of the plot, Angelina's character, Amelia Donaghy, is your run-of-the-mill street cop with a transfer to youth services on the way, when she answers a call about a distressed child near some old train tracks.  Heading over, she realizes quickly that it's a crime scene and steps in, going above and beyond the call of duty by flagging down a train to prevent it from running over evidence.  (Which is stupid, btw, trains don't stop that fast.)  Evidence being in the form of three seemingly unrelated things set down in a pile on a track.

With a little forensic-ing, (which leads us to Denzel Washington's character, Lincoln Rhyme) it quickly becomes apparent that the crime scene was staged.  (Let's all act surprised here.)  The crime scene, by the way, since I didn't mention it, was a man shot in the head and buried in the gravel of the site around the tracks except for his hand.  Impressed with Amelia's actions, as a former CSI/forensics cop (now a severely crippled person), he asks her to work directly with him on the case, since they realize there's another victim and the clues the killer had left were leading them to the other victim.  Obviously, I'm not going to spoil it, but this is something that repeats itself through the movie.  It -is- a crime-thriller, after all.

The movie draws you in rather easily with the on-going chase of this killer, as well as building a relationship between Amelia/Lincoln that works, despite the protege angle being rather cliche.  (No, I'm not using accented e's, you can't make me.)  And Amelia's character grows rather rapidly, yet not too unbelievably which is pretty interesting to watch.  And as I said, most of the acting, aside from perhaps one or two characters, was good to me, though I have admittedly low standards (well, most of the time) so YMMV in that department.

As I reached the ending, I remembered what strong feeling I had towards it:  disappointment.  Without spoiling anything directly, (as in, if you're interested, you might still want to skip this paragraph) it does build towards a reveal, but of course, it's not the actual reveal, and the actual reveal is one of those moments where it feels like they pulled it out of a hat just to make sure you were 'surprised'.  It's wholly unfulfilling, though the scene directly after is enjoyable enough to watch.  And after that point, it drops off completely with an ending completely outside of the mood of the film.

Still, everything directly before that part was compelling enough and I don't feel I wasted an afternoon watching it.  Would it have been better spent watching, perhaps, Se7en, Silence of the Lambs or another top-tier Crime-Thriller that I can't think of at the moment?  Almost surely.  But there's no reason to not watch this movie if you're given the opportunity, is what I'm getting at here.  Unless you just plain don't like the actors involved.  Or Crime-Thrillers.  Can I stop saying Crime-Thriller now?

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