Bones Movie Review

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In this cheesy flick, rapper extraordinaire Snoop Dogg simply barks up the wrong tree. Snoop, who has previously tested the acting waters with his menacing persona in inner city dramas such as Training Day and Baby Boy, gets to strut his stuff in director Ernest Dickerson's garishly laughable thriller. Dickerson (Juice) wastes his star in a labored vehicle that is riddled with misguided camp and countless spook-infested clichés. Not enough to even deem this imbecilic fable a worthy copycat blaxploitation flick, there are sticks and stones that can certainly break the brittle Bones. No doubt the filmmakers behind this bloated hip-hoppish Halloween costume drama will draw its intended audience to see their "phat" Snoop Dogg do his thing. It's too bad he plays second fiddle to the ridiculous premise of this mockish movie.

Snoop Dogg portrays charismatic hood Jimmy Bones, a stylish late '70s dude with a cool demeanor to match his threads. Jimmy has always protected his community by looking out for his crime-ridden neighborhood. He possesses the cocky swagger of John Shaft and the street savvy of Superfly's Priest. We're told in flashback that Jimmy Bones refused to deal crack cocaine to his beloved people, and thus the crooked cops and thugs snuffed him out. But nobody betrays Jimmy Bones -- nobody! So he comes back from the dead.

We skip to the future 22 years after Jimmy's death, where a group of young enterprising suburbanites arrange to buy a dilapidated building in the middle of the city. Their hope is to renovate this shady-looking enclave into a posh nightclub. Sounds innocent enough, right? Well, not according to the ghost of Jimmy Bones...

Bones is a plodding and atmospheric Gothic thriller that is indescribably nonsensical and overwrought. Screenwriters Adam Simon and Tim Metcalfe conjure up a mixed bag of distractingly overused gestures that are supposed to energize this disjointed venture. Whether pouring on the exhausting visuals or balancing the film's gimmicky images with something as inane as featuring a couple of severed heads, you sense that Bones is going through its uninvolved, futile motions.

Dickerson directs this aimless and jittery shock cinema with the urgency of a defective roller coaster. Just because you have a hip-hop-themed slasher flick doesn't mean you should lose control and let the chips fall where they may. Dickerson never injects anything substantiating that would fortify this movie's credibility. Hiding behind an arsenal of special effects, coupled with an overactive plot of ghastly hijinks does not compliment Dickerson's psuedo-spellbinding product.

Bones, given the right sardonic tilt, could have been a joyously over-the-top macabre merrymaker. But with its feeble-minded script and indifference to being a smart and flippantly astute scarefest, Bones just doesn't snap in all the proper places.

Super-squash TNT turbo.

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Bones Rating

" Grim "

Rating: R, 2001


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