October 11, 2001
Invisible Man, little to seeMy take on The HOLLOW MAN is quite simple-spectacular special effects undermined by a terrible script! It's the same tired old routine about a man who makes himself invisible then goes crazy; only this time it's not fully explained why? Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) and his team of allegedly brilliant scientists are working to discover the secret of invisibility for the Pentagon--for reasons that remain unclear. Apparently, making someone invisible is easy but bringing him (or her) back is the problem. When Caine thinks he's solved it, he opts to try his invisibility serum on himself. Watching him become invisible is definitely the film's highlight. I admit I've never seen anything like it. At first, Caine plays practical jokes until he discovers his team can't bring him back. After he rapes a beautiful woman, Caine decides he doesn't want to come back. He also decides to get rid of the allegedly brilliant scientists who turned out to be pretty dumb. ALL of the animals they made invisible exhibited aggressive behavior afterwards. Yet, they never once asked themselves why? Caine admitted that bright lights bothered him but do they use this as a weapon against him? No. They are fighting an invisible madman so what do they do-SPLIT UP-to make it easier to be victimized. Consequently, at crunch time they go down as fast as teenagers in a slasher film-it's no great loss for humanity. In fact, other than being unable to see the killer, the second half of the Hollow Man was a lot like a slasher film. Near the end, Sebastian gets clobbered, electrocuted, and received burns that would easily fell the average man. Yet, he foolishly kept coming back for more. I thought Kevin Bacon did well in the role of Caine, considering what he had to work with and how little support he received from his so-called supporting players. I also respect what Kevin went through to play the role. I had hoped that the special effects alone would generate enough box office to provide incentive for a sequel. I thought now that they have perfected the special effects, perhaps in the sequel they could come up with a plot worthy of them. Unfortunately, the film grossed an unexceptional $72 million in the US (but cost $85 million to make). Yet, there may still be hope, as the Hollow Man earned just over $100 million overseas. If they do decide to do a sequel I'd like them to do a story about--The HOLLOW WOMAN. My ideal choice to play the invisible woman is Thandie Newton. She's not only beautiful (the better to stimulate the imaginations of male viewers) but is a superior actress who is unafraid to take on unglamorous roles. I'd love to see Thandie rendered invisible and then find herself involved in espionage, a mystery, or even watch her go on a crime spree. It would make a far more interesting and entertaining story than the Hollow Man. Someone in Hollywood should be smart enough to figure this out or am I expecting too much? Probably.