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By Per Gunnar Jonsson January 28, 2017
I have been unusually lucky with my SyFy-channel movie watching lately. I had no idea what this movie was really but there was nothing else on last night and I also noticed that it was directed by Paul Verhoeven which have directed quite a few movies that I really liked so I decided to give it a try. As it turned out, this is another movie that is somewhat above the usual standard for movies given on SyFy.
It has a rating on 27% on Rotten Tomatoes which is just bullshit. But then, the so called “professional critics” used by the Rotten Tomatoes are dimwits who trash every movie that is not “intellectual” enough for their self-imagined refined tastes. I do not know why they continue to use these clowns for their official rating system instead of the real audience? On IMDb it holds a 5.6 out of 10 rating which is more realistic. I was hesitating between 7 and 6. In the end I gave it a 6 because, as I said in the title, it is a quite okay movie but not a fantastic one.
The story of the movie is a fairly standard one. Scientist experiments on himself, experiment goes wrong, scientist goes mad, hack hack, chop chop, scientist dies, happy ending for the remaining survivors. Thus the movie pretty much relies on its special effects which are indeed quite good. The various invisible effects, not to mention the scenes where Caine is partially visible due to smoke or water effects, are quite enjoyable to watch.
Kevin Bacon is making quite a performance as a very disagreeable fanatic scientist. He is doing a remarkably good job of it even when he is covered by a latex mask which of course is quite a feat being deprived of any facial expressions. The rest of the cast was fairly standard Hollywood fare, that is, fairly bland.
On the whole I found the movie quite enjoyable. It was perhaps a bit slow at the beginning and Cain’s show of megalomaniacal attitudes was indeed becoming a bit tiresome after a while. As I said, his roles was a very disagreeable one. Once he became invisible things started to become more interesting although it took a wee time for things to speed up even then.
It was certainly not a wasted movie evening and the movie is worth at least 6 out of 10 stars.
By John Chard January 28, 2017
It's amazing what you can do... when you don't have to look at yourself in the mirror any more.
It was the film that convinced director Paul Verhoeven to leave Hollywood and take a break from film making. His reasoning being that any Hollywood director could have made Hollow Man, a big effects led movie that made a lot of cash at the box office. It's this that is the main problem with the picture, it lacks some of the director's bite and satirical savagery, even the souped up sex (natural or deviant) that often comes with his productions. Yet devoid of expectations of a Verhoeven masterpiece, and the crushing realisation that it basically wastes its potential and plays out as a haunted house stalk movie - it's a good energetic popcorner.
It quickly becomes obvious that we are entering special effects extravaganza, the opening credits are dynamite, sci-fi sexy, then the opening gambit sequence literally grabs us and a rodent by the throat. From here on in we are treated to grade "A" effects and some genius ways of exposing "the invisible" Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) to us and the prey he soon comes to hunt. Unfortunately the whole cast performances are a much of a muchness, and playing a roll call of sci-fi stereotypes. All involved here have done much better work in their sleep, but they put the bums on theatre seats and ultimately this works as one of those movies designed to thrill and awe the senses - but not the brain. 6.5/10
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