Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hollow Man (2000)

Caught part of this movie on a hotel TV in London. I only stayed up for the first forty minutes or so, but what I saw was pretty entertaining. I figured I’d give it a shot on Netflix. Besides it’s a Verhoeven film and he is usually able to make his movies entertaining, even if they aren’t particularly good… right?

Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) may have a Bond villain name, but he’s really just a cocky scientist who has been tasked to create a serum that can render a human invisible. Working at his side is Dr. Linda McKay (Elisabeth Shue), who happens his ex-girlfriend. And McKay is currently dating Dr. Matthew Kensington (Josh Brolin), who is also on the project. Once the team is able to turn a gorilla invisible and bring it back without it liquefying – Caine decides to test it on himself. Because this is a Verhoeven film, the invisible scientist lets the power go to his head and starts a raping and murder spree. Now its up to the team of scientists to stop him before the Hollow Man vanishes without a trace.

Good Points:
  • Impressive visual effects for the time
  • Bacon is having a hell of a time in the role
  • Jerry Goldsmith’s score works overtime to keep things moving

Bad Points:
  • Goes from entertaining to amazingly stupid about half way through
  • Shue just doesn’t strike me as a scientist
  • Lots of violence toward animals and women

This almost works. The initial premise is entertaining and Bacon delivers as the scientist with a severe God complex. But Verhoeven just lets his obsessions with sex and violence take over, and not in a fun way. The movie gets really ugly at times, and all the action, heroics and excellent special effects can’t keep it from descending into a dark, bloody mess.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals: 5
Sound: 4
Acting: 3
Script: 2
Music: 4
Direction: 2
Entertainment: 2
Total:  2

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.   


  1. One of the best invisibility movies is the first, The Invisible Man (1933), in part because HG Wells himself had a hand in it and in part because of Claude Rains in the role. The 1992 Chevy Chase movie Memoirs of an Invisible Man, based on the excellent HF Saint novel, isn't bad in a more comedic way. Atypically, it notes the disadvantages of invisibility, such as the fact that pedestrians and drivers don't get out of your way, and people slam doors in your face.

    Hollow Man lost me also in the middle somewhere, to the point that I honestly don't remember if I watched it to the end. If so, I guess it wasn't very memorable.

  2. You know, I almost revisited "Memoirs of an Invisible Man" during my John Carpenter retrospecitive, but I just didn't have the time. I'm thinking of doing a part 2 next year, and I think I'll dive into that movie for sure. I haven't seen the original in years. I remember it being pretty creepy when I was a kid. Time to revisit that one too.