The Invisible

"Good"

The Invisible Review


The trailers for The Invisible ask, "How do you solve a murder when the victim is you?" This indeed poses several mysteries, but not the ones the trailer-makers have in mind. First, there's the question of whether the question is grammatically correct (the answer: maybe, but it sure sounds awkward). Then there's the mystery not of how to solve said murder, but where exactly the difficulty lies when you is -- er, are that murder victim. High-school senior Nick Powell, this film's victim, pretty much "solves" his murder while he's being killed (or near-killed); he recognizes and even converses with his assailants. Case closed.

Except that he's dead, of course, but assuming, as The Invisible does, the existence of a rather flexible netherworld between living and death, filling in further details isn't a problem either. When Nick wakes up as a sort of half-ghost, traveling through the land of the living without the ability to be seen or heard while his body lies on the brink of death, his detective skills need only to consist of following the murderers around, overhearing their motivations.

To its credit, The Invisible dispenses with the trailer's bogus notions of mystery early on. Unfortunately, it spends a great deal of time dwelling on an additional challenge: How Nick can convey the mystery's solution (and the fact that his body awaits discovery and urgent medical treatment) to a living world that is blind to his presence.

Actually, it's not this barrier that's the problem, but rather the film's repeated dramatizations of Nick's plight. We are treated to countless scenes where he screams at the people around him, breaks stuff, and generally makes a noisy struggle to be heard, before whoosh -- the camera pans back to Nick, revealing that everything is still intact; he's still a ghost and can't manipulate the world around him. You don't blame him for trying, but you do kinda blame the filmmakers for showing us what seems like every one of those tries.

Other than these constant demonstrations, The Invisible's take on its supernatural conceit -- low-key, not heavily explained -- is refreshing. Director David S. Goyer is less interested in ghostly machinations than how Nick is able to use them to investigate and maybe empathize with those responsible for this death, particularly a troubled classmate named Annie (Margarita Levieva). Nick doesn't have a loyal posse of crime-solving friends or a plucky girlfriend to commune with, just a lone best friend (Chris Marquette) whose spinelessness is frustrating but also probably realistic.

This is one of those movies where teenagers essentially live in their own adult world already, on a thin line between grown-up weariness and youthful angst. The token adult in the room is Marcia Gay Harden as Nick's proper, controlling mother. It's the latest in Harden's long line of prim, uptight types; she typically infuses these parts not with depth, but cartoonish overacting that suggests an unfunny version of fellow Oscar-winner Dianne Wiest. To be fair, none of the performances are exactly electric, though newcomer Levieva has some quiet, heartbreaking moments.

This is Goyer's second film as a director; he wrote all of the Blade movies and directed the last one, and had a hand in the screenplays for Dark City and Batman Begins, among others. He's not credited as a writer for The Invisible, and maybe the script could've benefited from a hint of his pulpier sensibilities. The film is stylishly shot and halfway intelligent, but after a certain point it feels less thrilling than inevitable. At its best, The Invisible is a supernatural thriller that plays like a legitimate drama. Other times, though, when the soundtrack is cranked (even blasting some good songs) and the emotions bleed onto the characters' sleeves, the dramatics are more of the teenage, CW-approved variety.

I'm not touching you!



The Invisible

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th April 2007

Box Office USA: $20.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $26.8M

Budget: $30M

Distributed by: Buena Vista

Production compaines: Hollywood Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 20%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 47

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Nick Powell, as Annie Newton, as Diane Powell, as Pete Egan, as Detective Brian Larson, Michelle Harrison as Detective Kate Tunney, Ryan Kennedy as Matty, Andrew Francis as Dean, P. Lynn Johnson as Sharon Egan, Serge Houde as Martin Egan, Desiree Zurowski as Lindy Newton, as Jack Newton, Alex Ferris as Victor Newton, Tania Saulnier as Suzie, as Principal Whitcliff, Laara Sadiq as Ms. Barclay, Aleks Holtz as Football Jock, as Jimmy, Maggie Ma as Danielle, as Marcus Bohem

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

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.