First published 31st January 2007 on http://www.myspace.com/wivenhoefunnyfarm/blog

This proved to be the most annoying film in a night’s viewing that included part of Van Helsing (which at least seems to know it’s shit). There will be spoilers.

Denzil Washington plays a quadraspazzed maverick cop, Lincoln (! Log?) , who’s pretty nifty in the old forensics department (or at least was until someone dropped a girder on him). Lincoln’s feeling suicidal down to the fact he could “become a vegetable” at any time due to weird jerky fits, and his Jewish doctor takes pity and promises to help him pop his clogs proper bo style when he gets back from a top secret doctors convention trip er somewhere. Angelina Jolie plays an uptight (closet lesbo) rookie with a partner whinier and clingier than Satan is to Saddam in the South Park movie. Ange endears herself to Washington by leaping in front of a train to protect vital evidence at a grisly murder scene. Knowing that big clodhopper police feet tend to churn up crimescenes (one wonders how the NYPD has managed to make any arrests in the 4 years since Denzil’s been out of action), Lincoln Log disregards boring things like employment law, police heirarchy, training and health and safety in order to get Angelina working for him so she can learn his mystical forensic ways and start to use the forceps. Cos Denzil’s busy lazing around in his techno-bed having spasms and getting bed baths from Queen Latifah, he hands Angelina the suitcase of power (even Quincy had one) and a wire down which he can bark instructions at her. This all starts fairly quickly as the killer is deliberately leaving clues for a top notch forensics expert to follow (just as well the police didn’t mess up that evidence or there’d have been no film). Victims are being dispatched in nasty ways at set deadlines, so if plod don’t solve the clues it’s ALL THEIR FAULT. It’s like saying that if I fail to complete a sudoko (surely a crossword for Rainman?) that someone will get their FACE STEAMED OFF or EATEN BY RATS due to my selfish ignorance. Lincoln Log starts making greater demands on the young rookie (is it just me or is demanding she cut the steamed woman’s hands off just to retrieve the handcuffs either over zealous or a little kinky?).

Due to the crap detective work allowing all these people to die, the clues have to get more and more remedial (a shaved rat and a cow bone for the rat victim in the old abbatoir) or bizarre (a book of matches for erm an attempted drowning, turn of the century newspapers, a picture that looks like it’s from a 19th century true crime book – which Lincoln IMMEDIATELY IDENTIFIES). We discover that Lincoln has a database of weird shit that he has collected, a fact that (could it be) the killer appears to be tapping into? Lincoln Log and Angelina develop a SPECIAL BOND OF MUTUAL RESPECT, which is challenged by Angelina’s real and official boss, a superbly twattish Michael Rooker. Ange nicks a load of files which prove that these gruesome murders with evidence scattered nearby have been going on for donkey’s years, and EVERY victim has had a bone removed with a trademark cut (don’t bother wondering about the psychopathology behind this – it won’t matter). As they’re flicking through the mutilated corpse photos, like most people do with holiday snaps, Lincoln spazzes out in pure pleasure, and Ange realises how vulnerable he really is and starts wondering if his knob still works.

Angelina checks out the nearest antiquarian bookshop where she is attended to by a creepy guy who looks a bit like Lembit Opik and despite his shifty mad eyes has NO RELEVANCE to the rest of the plot. The first book she instinctivly finds is a Victorian tome called “The Bone Collector” which details all the killings we have seen in the film thus far, and luckily enough there’s the actual description of the last killing (double drowning of old man who looks like Larry David and cutesy kid – GUESS who will live?). Ange, guided by Lincoln in her earpiece manages to find the hapless pair, and holds the little girl’s head above the water for about five minutes before belatedly remembering to do the same with her granddad. Larry David snuffs it, the kid starts coughing up half of the Hudson River (Ange: “It sounds like she’s gonna be OK”) and Ange starts snooping for more clues (although that was the last murder in the book). She finds a bit of antique tube map and part of a cop’s badge (“does that mean he’s going to kill a cop?”)  and on Lincoln’s advice goes to check out a disused tube station (DUR DU DURRR!), narrowly escaping the clutches of TwatCop who wants to arrest both her and Lincoln for being insufferably unprofessional arseholes. TwatCop therefore heads off to Lincoln’s pad, deciding that it’s easier to arrest someone who can’t actually move from the waist down (or easier to kill someone etc.? Hmmmm?).

Meanwhile in the tunnels of the abandoned tube station, Ange has annoyingly lost her signal, so is on her own. She sees a random number on a broken down tube train, that’s had all the dust removed, so must be a deliberate CLUE. She starts going through all the numbers in her head. One. Two. Three. OK a bit faster than that. Finally she realises it’s Lincoln’s badge number (justifying a sequence where she BRIEFLY GLANCED at his retirement award thingy with badge number). All Lincoln’s training has enabled her to recall silly long numbers and draw houses with lots of windows, and all of a sudden it’s OK to find interpersonal relationships “challenging”. This means the killer is going to kill Lincoln and wants Ange to know about it, which sets us up for a breathtaking finale doesn’t it?

Back at Lincoln’s apartment we see Twatcop approaching his door, and then Queen Latifah puts down her sponge and answers the door, a look of recognition on her face before she is stabbed all the way through with a mahoosive knife. Is Twatcop the killer? No, for as Queeny slides to the floor her body joins the erstwhile special cuntstable’s, his throat apparently sliced. Oh oh! As Lincoln calls for Queeny to come back and shine his balls, the killer lurks hackily in the shadows playing sinister musak on a casio keyboard, before revealing himself as……the Jewish doctor.

Let’s get to motive here. Yonks ago, it seems, Lincoln’s evidence OCD was set a tingling by a police doctor who had clearly been tampering with crime scene forensics. Without meeting said Doctor, Lincoln’s expert opinion was used to convict him to prison where he was the recipient of some particularly brutal bummings. Year’s later the doctor tracked Lincoln down, befriended him, offered to assist his euthenasia and then GAVE HIM A REASON to live by recreating gruesome murders (erm, for how long? What about those ones in the photographs earlier) – JUST SO he could then turn him into a “vegetable”, the thing he feared the most. Lincoln activates his techno-bed as the mentaldoctor tries to remove all his tubes and turn his central nervous system to cabbage puree, and the bed bites the mentaldoctor’s hand. Nice work techno-bed! Then, before mentaldoctor can get stabby with his “My first scalpel set”, Lincoln discovers that he can propel himself across the floor using BUTTOCK POWER alone, and bite half of mentaldoctor’s windpipe out. Of course mentaldoctor has to raise the knife in one last half-hearted murderous attempt so it looks good when Ange comes in and blows the crazy Dustin Hoffman lookie-likie away for good. So that’s all alright then, although Lincoln’s not looking too good following this somewhat holistic therapy session.

We fast forward a few months to a cop looking sadly at Lincoln’s empty techno-bed. Oh no! Phew he’s finally got up and is now in a natty wheelchair (the sort I’d imagine a paraplegic batman would have) – obviously in this film’s world being disabled isn’t too bad when you’re a fictional character with apparently limitless funds. All the Christmas deccies are up, Lincoln’s long lost rellies come to visit and Ange is wearing a nice frock and a fruity smile, as she fingers Lincoln’s ring finger hopefully. As if to stress that no matter how bleak life can get, if you work hard you can pull through, the strains of “Don’t Give Up” by Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel start playing. Now excuse me, what relevance does a 1980s track about unemployment and enforced economic migration have on this shitfest of a movie, or could it possibly have been BLUDGEONED in there to sound MEANINGFUL? It’s like they saved the loudest and most hateful “For Fuck sake” moment till last.

FOR FUCK SAKE RATING* : FFS FFS FFS FFS FFS

(*this is based on the actual number of “For Fuck sake”‘s I utter aloud throughout the film)

QUOTES THAT TELL YOU ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW:

“Do you know what happens to a cop in prison? You are brutalised every single day over and over… you become a human toilet.” – Mentaldoctor’s motivation

“What sort of vegetable do you want to be…a courgette?” – Mentaldoctor threatens Lincoln with multi-spazzing (I particularly like the fact he says “courgette” rather than “zucchini” in a blatent attempt to appeal to the British market)

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