Hollow Man (2000)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Caine in Hollow Man

Hollywood Hollow Movie

Hollywood has always had a love affair with the idea of invisibility; numerous movies have explored the idea as the main driving force of a storyline often with disastrous results thanks to poor, laughable effects. But with the huge developments in CGI it seemed quite fitting for Hollywood to roll out yet another movie revolving around the concept of invisibility and in my opinion in "Hollow Man" they have created a reasonably entertaining yet slightly flawed movie which wows you with brilliant visuals but sadly very little else.

In "Hollow Man" Kevin Bacon stars as Sebastian Caine, a government scientist in charge of a small team of specialists researching cutting edge technology to make humans invisible. Although the team have achieved invisibility with their animal subjects they are yet to reverse the effects and turn the animals back to their normal state. Late one night Caine finally works out the missing links to make the invisible visible again and controversially decides that the team should move on from testing on animals and becomes the human guinea pig. Except that after turning him invisible the team are unable to turn him visible again. With the team rushing round to try and find a way to reverse the invisibility, Caine must adjust to being invisible.

Hollow Man (2000) starring Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue, Josh Brolin, Kim Dickens, Greg Grunberg, Joey Slotnick, Mary Randle, William Devane directed by Paul Verhoeven - movie review on The Movie Scene

In all honesty "Hollow Man" is all about the visuals, it is a movie which sets out to woo you with special effects rather than any real drama or well developed storyline. Which really isn't a surprise seeing that "Hollow Man" is directed by Paul Verhoeven who has made his name with big visual movies such as "Robocop" and "Basic Instinct", plus the less than spectacular "Showgirls".

The thing is Verhoeven has done a brilliant job of creating a visually impressive extravaganza. When you watch the subjects become invisible and the invisibility serum spreads throughout the body you can't but help be wowed by what you see. The intricate details which are shown is scene stealing and it's not just when someone or something is being made invisible the attention to detail is brilliant through out the entire movie. Later on in the movie when Caine decides to use his invisibility for his own devious pleasure I actually was questioning how they achieved the effects in scenes where he unbuttoned one of the assistants top and manipulated her breast, as they were so realistic.

The trouble is that for all the excellent effects which fill "Hollow Man" the storyline is not so exciting. "Hollow Man" actually starts out quite well building a good sense of tension as the scientists work to discover the missing link in the formula and coupled with the effects for the first 20 minutes or so "Hollow Man" appears to be heading in the right direction. Even when Caine is made invisible there seems to be a good amount of intelligence used in highlighting some down sides of being invisible. But then it all goes wrong, the tension is lost, intelligence is thrown out the window and "Hollow Man" turns into another Hollywood visual farce and bends all the rules in an attempt to entertain with action rather than intellect. That is not to say it isn't entertaining as it certainly is, it just fails to deliver on the early promising signs and replaces it with plenty of scenes which may cause you to cringe.

As for the acting well there really is only one star of "Hollow Man" and that is Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Caine. Bacon plays the nice guy turned bad perfectly and although for a lot of the movie he is in fact invisible you get a real sense of a sinister side to him just by the tone of his voice. It may not be enough to send shivers up your spine but you will soon discover that becoming invisible has affected him not only physically but also psychologically. As for the other characters well they are all unexciting stereotypes which are hugely underused especially that of Linda Mckay a fellow scientist played by Elisabeth Shue who really should have had a much greater role in the movie or at least a character which had a much greater screen presence.

What this all boils down to it "Hollow Man" is sadly a disappointing movie which despite early promise fails to deliver, preferring to champion the visual effects than developing what should have been an exceedingly good storyline. It is another case of Hollywood failing to be different and just supplying what the majority of audiences want, big visuals with very little content and definitely not something that will make them think too hard whilst dipping into their buckets of popcorn.


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