Hollow Man

"Good"

Hollow Man Review


Okay, Kevin Bacon! You're invisible and you can't go back to being visible -- what do you do!?

Well, you spy on some naked chicks, right? That's what I'd do! That's what every guy would do, right!

Paul Verhoeven's latest homage to Big Acting and overdirection is light on the naked chicks and heavy on the violence, because, as it turns out, being invisible makes you insane and clearly Mad With Power. And the chicks just get in the way of the killing!

I guess I'm getting ahead of myself. The Invisible Man gets a millennial upgrade to Hollow Man, when a team of government-contracted scientists led by Kevin Bacon's Sebastian Caine figures out how to "phase shift" (ahem) a person to become completely invisible. As we are told during one briefing, the phase shifting is the easy part (of course). It's undoing the process and making someone visible again that's tricky.

When Caine successfully un-phase shifts a gorilla, he figures, what the hay, he'll try it on himself. All goes well until, oopsy, the un-shifting doesn't work on humans! As Caine simmers as an invisible man trying to figure out how to revisible-ize, stuck at the lab -- located, quite naturally, in a pit dug hundreds of feet into the earth and with only one exit -- he starts to go crazy.

To be honest, even the most bored observer will see that Caine was crazy to begin with, and it comes as no surprise when he starts offing his staff, who are threatening to tattle about the illegal/unethical human trial to their Pentagon benefactors. Most notable among them is Linda (Elisabeth Shue), an ex-girlfriend who's now having a fling with another researcher named Matt (Josh Brolin).... Two guys out of four on staff? Linda must be the trampiest medical professional on film to date.

For good and for bad, Verhoeven avoids the ambition of grandiose movies like Starship Troopers, and Hollow Man ends up taking place mostly in the budget-friendly underground cave -- just like any number of "trapped on a ship" sea monster movies, only with no water and an invisible monster.

To say that Kevin Bacon is a ham in this film would be insulting to pigs. (Insert your own "bacon" joke here.) While Shue makes a more credible scientist here than she did in The Saint, it's still a stretch to see her in a role that isn't either a prostitute or a babysitter.

But ultimately, Hollow Man is simply a paean to some dazzling special effects, the sophistication of which I don't think I've ever seen -- mind-bending in their complexity, blood curdling in their goriness, and almost unthinkable in their realism. There's water-covered invisible man, burning invisible man, and blood-spattered invisible man. The capper of course is the phase shift process, one of the more gruesome events ever put to film, and not merely because of the prominence of Bacon's skin-stripped male member. Of course, never mind the ersatz scientific holes (mainly, if you un-phase shift from the inside-out, why do you phase shift from the outside-in? -- the serum still starts in your veins and works through the body that way).

Whatever. Hollow Man is disturbing enough to be fun, and utterly dumb enough to not get in the way of the former. Just like that other Verhoeven classic. You know: Showgirls.

Shue makes Bacon. Extra-crispy.



Hollow Man

Facts and Figures

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th August 2000

Box Office USA: $72.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $73.2M

Budget: $90M

Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures Corporation, Global Entertainment Productions GmbH & Company Medien KG

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 27%
Fresh: 31 Rotten: 83

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Linda McKay, as Sebastian Caine, as Matthew Kensington, as Sarah Kennedy, as Sebastian's Neighbor

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The...

Sing Street Movie Review

Sing Street Movie Review

A buoyant celebration of the power of music, this is the third blissfully entertaining musical...

Departure Movie Review

Departure Movie Review

Complex, dark and very moving, this British drama never makes things easy for the audience,...

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Richard Linklater loosely follows on from two of his most acclaimed films with this lively...

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

John le Carre's novel is adapted with plenty of inventive style into a remarkably personal...

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game...

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

While it's amusing and sometimes very funny, there's an air of desperation about this sequel...

Advertisement
Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Although this comedy-drama seems to have been written specifically to give Meryl Streep a chance...

I Saw the Light Movie Review

I Saw the Light Movie Review

Writer-director Marc Abraham gets ambitious with this biopic about iconic country music star Hank Williams,...

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

Demolition Movie Review

Demolition Movie Review

With its darkly emotive themes and brittle humour, this well-made drama by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas...

Bastille Day Movie Review

Bastille Day Movie Review

An attempt to muscle in on Luc Besson's Taken-style of thriller, this is an odd...

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.