Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hollow Man (2000) Review:

Invisibility has always been a neat idea. Some of it has been explored before and it has been used in many fashions. But to have it done in this particular way is another story. Becoming invisible in this world is a scientific reality; not magic. That's what makes this a cool concept. To actually come up with a formula that disguises the human body so that it becomes transparent with any light that is reflected off it is absolutely stunning. And that is what starts off our story here.

Sebastian Caine (Bacon),  a scientist in search for opportunity
Kevin Bacon plays Sebastian Caine, a scientist who cracked the code for making any biological organism absolutely transparent to the naked eye. The problem is that he has never tested it on a human body, until now. So to make sure that it actually does work, Caine decides to test it on himself. This is where the really cool stuff joins the screen. To become invisible, Caine is injected with the serum that will make him transparent. When this occurs, soon all of Caine's skin, then muscles, and organs start to appear. It’s as if the viewer is brought back to the days where there were charts of the human body hanging in the science classes.

Then there's the case of Bacon's character actually being invisible. A lot of is well done because of how delicate it is to balance between what is on screen and what actually isn't. Making a plastic face mold for Caine so the rest of his crew could see him was an incredible stroke. Let's not forget that Bacon has some fun with his character before he really starts to head off the deep end. It is from there that Hollow Man begins to become frustrating.

Caine.....currently invisible!
Soon after becoming invisible, Caine's crewmembers can't seem to figure out a way of making him visible again. Because of this, Caine starts to become restless and aggressive. Once he heads down this path, he doesn't return. Soon, he begins to disobey his co-workers and runs amok in the lab. It's actually quite disappointing to see because something different could have been done to make Sebastian Caine a little more interesting. Some audiences would have found his performance more appreciative if his character started doing good things out of the ordinary for other individuals. I for one would have enjoyed if he took that path; but that isn't the case.

Like any Verhoeven film though, the gore is definitely there. By the finale of the film, Caine is one sick puppy. Some of the weapons he uses on his victims and the way he uses them are just downright brutal. Even science fiction soundtrack master Jerry Goldsmith couldn’t help this film. He definitely had the sci-fi tones in his music but no real feeling in it. Come on Goldsmith!

It's nice to see Paul Verhoeven do amazing things with the power of invisibility. However, the character of Sebastian Caine isn't anything worth watching. Kevin Bacon tries to entertain but the story spirals down into one big mess.

Points Earned --> 7:10

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