Hollow Man
Dir: Paul Verhoeven
Star: Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue, Josh Brolin
Cert / Year: 18 - R / 2000
Format: DVD R1

Maverick scientist Dr Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) leads a team that is working on process that phase shifts living matter effectively making it invisible. Already they have succeeded in making lab animals invisible but so far they have been unable to bring them back, and the invisible animals have become aggressive. That is until he has a breakthrough and is successful in bringing back a gorilla test subject. His team, which includes his ex girlfriend Linda McKay (Elisabeth Shue) and her secret new boyfriend Matthew Kensington (Josh Brolin) what to publish this success, but Sebastian, wants to break protocol and try a human subject. He makes himself invisible but something goes wrong and the process cannot be reversed. Can he be made visible again, or has the new found power of invisibility already effected Sebastian's mental state.

Ok so like it or loathe it this is an effects movie. This inevitably means that plot will be sacrificed to the great god of CGI. What really matters is how much of story is there and does it work. Well fortunately the story, while pretty predicable, is good enough, and it holds the effects scenes together very nicely. This is helped by the use of the recognisable invisible man story elements.

It an effects movie so what about the effects. Thankfully they are fantastic. I must admit that thanks to work of Tippett studios they are some of the best that I have seen. Of special note are the disappearing \ reappearing sequences which are fantastic in a anatomy lesson sort of way. Equally impressive are the invisible scenes. We have come a long way from things moving around on bits of wire and it shows. What is most effective about them is use of water and smoke to reveal the outline of the invisible person. Ok so things do go a little too CGI at the very end but overall this is cutting edge stuff (Somebody remind me to come back in five years a change this to how the effects now look dated).

Paul Verhoeven career can be summed up by the title of his first US movie Flesh and Blood. From his early work in Holland he brings with him a very liberal European view to violence and sex, and this can be seen in many of his movies (none more so than Basic Instinct). Fortunately he has been able to retain this style in his big box office US films. Hollow man follows this tradition, exploring the darker side of what being invisible means both in sexual and violent terms. This brutality gives the film a nice edge.

Hollow man is a highly entertaining blockbuster movie. Sound performances from a good cast (especially Kevin Bacon) compete well with the glorious effects. This is the sort of movie that Paul Verhoeven excels at, and yet again we are not let down. This is a fun no brainer of a film, loud, sexy and bloody. It's great stuff. In the end the effects do win the day, but unlike Independence Day this film does have a whole lot more to offer. Go on watch it. Anatomy lessons have never looked so good.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Picture 1.85:1 Anamorphic Flawless stuff
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Great sound
Features Commentary by director Paul Verhoeven, Kevin Bacon and Andrew Marlowe
Making of featurette
Music Score with Jerry Goldsmith Commentary
15 Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
Three Deleted Scenes
Cast and Crew Biographies
Verdict Good disc, good film, good extras, well worth it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Back Top Home