Film Reviews:

Hollow Man

(Paul Verhoeven, USA, 2000)

[Kevin Bacon behind the Hollow Man]Amazingly unimaginative contemporary version of The Invisible Man sees Kevin Bacon as an obsessive genius scientist who has been funded to perfect human invisibility for the military. Only the nearer he gets to his holy grail the more possessive he becomes about the project. Oh, and deranged too.

Modern Hollywood 'spin' on the classic invisibility formula sets this in a blandly designed hidden underground megalab (natch) and inserts a needless love triangle between Bacon and his ex (Elizabeth Shue) who is now secretly dating fellow scientist (beefcake Josh Brolin) behind Bacon's back. Of course, as soon as Bacon achieves invisibility he discovers their relationship and begins to stalk Shue (after raping a sexy neighbour) and pick off former colleagues. Nice.

Terrific special effects and Kevin Bacon's limited on-screen performance are the only saving graces in this big budget and trashy b-movie. The script is brainless and dull - most of the action takes place in the very set-bound laboratory - and has Shue turn into Ripley from the Alien movies for the ludicrous final act in which an ever more preposterous sequence of events escalates beyond all probability. This has more in common with Fatal Attraction than the Claude Rains classic or H.G. Wells. One hopes Verhoeven can only have taken this on for the money, because as an artistic endeavour its pretty lame. 4/10

Rob Dyer (November 2005)

See also:
Fatal Attraction
Invisible Man, The (1933)
Memoirs of an Invisible Man

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