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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Advertisement
Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

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.