The Bone Collector (the novel) was gripping, suspenseful, and thorough, with good characters, overlaying plots, and gruesome details. The Bone Collector (the movie) holds the same gripping suspense, but lacks some of the gruesomeness and detail to be at the level of Silence of the Lambs.
The Bone Collector is graced with a great director and a perfect cast, namely Denzel Washington (my mom would like to note that she still finds him extremely attractive) and the beautiful Angelina Jolie. Denzel spends all but three minutes of the movie in his bed, moving nothing but his head and a single finger. He portrays a paralyzed man very effectively (although, with exception to the ending, Christopher Reeves would have been nice to see). Angelina Jolie, on the other hand, does a lot more movement, and is the nineties version of Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs.
The plot holds true to the book. Several key scenes are left in, and the ending is about as close to the novel as possible (actually, it was better than the ending in the book). Unfortunately, while it did maintain some of the important scenes, it left out two that really would have made the movie complete. There aren't as many victims in the movie, which is okay since there are time restraints, but readers of the book might be disappointed to find that the scene where the police invade the killer's apartment has been left out, in addition to the fact that Sachs (in the movie, they changed the name to Donaghy for some reason) is attacked and almost killed by the killer. In the movie, there is one scene near the beginning where it is implied that the killer is watching her, but after that, it is left up in the air. Those two segments of the book would have greatly improved the movie, and maybe some variance from the way the victims were captured.
Furthermore, the thought process behind the killer is not revealed in the film. In the film, it is merely a revenge plot, but in the book the person is doing it because he has flashbacks to the past, thinks in the past, and likes to watch his victims die, as well as feel their bones. None of that is in the movie.
If you have never read the novel, then The Bone Collector will be a great watch. If you have read the book, you will acknowledge the good quality of the film, but will also be disappointed that more of the book was not presented in the film.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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