This is what “Silence of the Lambs” and “The X-Files” have really brought to our culture: The serial killer vs. cop/forensics expert genre. Now why do the villains always end up with the psychological complexity of “Scooby-Doo”?
In one corner, we have a killer whose victims enter his stolen cab in New York City. The poor suckers die by overly complex methods with clues left to the location of the next victim. In the other corner, we have Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington), superstar forensics expert for the NYPD. Unfortunately, an on-the-job mishap has left him a quadriplegic. Somebody has to do the walking, so Lincoln picks street cop Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie), since there was obviously no one more qualified. Abrasive at first, somehow, someway, the pair will find themselves as soul-mates (Uh, okay). Incredulity ensues.
Support of this house of cards is only works as long as you don’t breathe too hard on the big cards. This hand consists of one insane risk after another where the two adversaries always select the most complicated way to do anything. Unlike most (all) serial killers who are in it for the killings, our boy (girl, whatever) is in it for the revenge. …AND HE WOULDA GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT TOO IF IT WEREN’T FOR THOSE DAMN KIDS!!!
Now nobody expects art from director Phillip Noyce, but he does his best to add tension and realism to this extra-bloody episode of “Murder, She Wrote”. Too bad the script was worth neither his time nor mine.