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There's a simple recipe for every serial murderer crime thriller ever made. Take one rookie cop way too smart for his or her own good. Add one older cop who doesn't want a partner or is about five seconds to retiring. Stir in some nut job with a ridiculously stupid reason for killing people... you know, like voices in his head, which is stupid because I hear voices, and they never told me to kill anyone. Well, except that time they told me to assassinate the Pope with a salami, but that's another review. 

OK, so The Bone Collector is no Silence of the Lambs. You've got your older cop (Denzel Washington), a forensics expert left paralyzed when a big pipe fell on him. You've got your younger cop (Angelina Jolie, whose lips take up their own line in the credits), who for once isn't the cocky one in the relationship. Together they track a killer who makes a habit of digging up a little piece of bone or muscle or whatever from his victims -- which doesn't impress anyone in this day and age when people consider boiling your neighbors in a vat of acid tame or a superb party trick. 

Granted, plot-wise, The Bone Collector isn't that scary, and when they reveal the killer, you're either not surprised or disgusted by such a cheap move. But my Christmas wish now includes the forensics geeks' hi-tech toys, and the sound quality of the movie made me jump whenever the characters slammed a door.  

Plus, there's always cheap gore, and boy, does this sucker have plenty. All The Bone Collector needs are some truly revolting decapitation scenes and maybe a few needless shots of someone having an appendectomy without anesthesia. I'd volunteer for that last one, butů umů I lost my appendix in the war. Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket. 

Jennifer Matarese

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