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Overall Rating
2.69

Awesome: 6.47%
Worth A Look: 17.99%
Average: 28.78%
Pretty Bad31.65%
Total Crap: 15.11%

9 reviews, 85 user ratings


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Hollow Man
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by EricDSnider

"Verhoeven manages to botch another one."
2 stars

The concept behind "Hollow Man," summarized in its tagline -- "It's amazing what you can do when you don't have to look at yourself anymore" -- is an excitingly creepy one. We're used to invisible men being good guys, generally, trying to reverse whatever it is that made them disappear. But what if an invisible guy used his powers for evil, not good? An unseen menace is always more scary than a seen one.

Unfortunately, the unseen menace behind "Hollow Man" is director Paul Verhoeven, whose ham-fisted, exploitative style -- the man will show us naked breasts any chance he gets -- oozes through this film the same way it seeped into his last four ("Total Recall," "Basic Instinct," "Showgirls" and "Starship Troopers"). Sharing the blame is screenwriter Andrew W. Marlowe (last year's stupid "End of Days" and 1997's good-only-because-of-Harrison-Ford "Air Force One"), whom we'll lambaste momentarily.

Watch as nearly all the possible ways this film COULD have been good disappear one by one.

- By providing insight into human nature. What would YOU do if you were invisible? Watch naked people? Steal? Fight crime? The movie makes it clear that the invisible man in question -- scientist Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon), working on a top-secret Pentagon-approved project -- is different from most people, and that the bad things he does are a result of his already being a self-centered, arrogant creep who likes to play God. He isn't "most people"; he's himself, and no one else. Therefore, questions about what "most people" would do are sidestepped. Poof! No insight.

- By scaring us. Sebastian is certainly creepy as an invisible guy; the problem is, he's not invisible often enough. His team of researchers, who are trying to figure out why they can't make him visible again (it worked when they tried it on a gorilla, after all, and anyone who saw the shower scene in "Wild Things" knows Kevin Bacon isn't all that different), put clothes on him, and even a rubber mask over his head. So even when he's invisible, we can see him. When he ditches the get-up and runs around naked, it seems he's almost always getting wet, or walking into a wall of steam, thus making him visible to us again. He's no longer an eerie, unseen villain; he's just a transparent naked guy, whacking people in the head with crowbars. Abracadabra, no scary!

- By being creative. Here's where screenwriter Marlowe gets his due: The dialogue in this film is pure generic drivel. Sebastian is kept by his team from leaving the lab due to his unusual condition, and he starts to go stir crazy. Then he goes REAL crazy after learning his ex-girlfriend/assistant Linda (Elisabeth Shue) is shacking up with fellow researcher Matt (Josh Brolin). That's when he snaps and utters the following: "I'll show them!"

"I'll show them"? Please. Who is he, Lex Luthor?

And that's just the dialogue (which is generally bad, not just in that one instance). The characters are ill-defined, and Sebastian's actions are simply unmotivated. Yeah, he's unethical and maybe slightly evil. But is being cooped up in a lab for a couple weeks enough to make a man become murderous? Maybe it is, but you'll have to show us more of the guy's thought process before we're going to buy it. It's as though Marlowe knew Sebastian had to start killing people at some point, and he couldn't figure out how to get there, so he just made it happen, hoping a good director would somehow make it work. And then he got stuck with Verhoeven.

(And back to Verhoeven: The number of women in this movie who are groped or otherwise assaulted by an invisible pervert is uncountable. Well, OK, I did count, and it's three. But that's a lot, especially when the pervert's main obsession happens to be bosoms, the same as the film's director's.)

- With dynamic acting. Forget it. Bacon is two-dimensionally slimy; Shue and Brolin just run around and say their lines; and I've forgotten everyone else's names already, and I just saw the movie an hour ago.

- With cool special effects. OK, the effects are amazing. The disappearing and reappearing scenes are spectacularly thrilling, and everything done by invisible people and animals looks as real as it can get. But if the special effects are the best thing about your movie, you've got yourself a bad movie.

It's not painfully bad. For the first half of it, you still hope it's going to turn out well. But when the climax is the same as the climax in every other psycho-killer movie, right down to the last "Hey, we thought you were dead!" moment, it's time to give up and hope someone, someday, can turn this premise into something genuinely exciting.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1864&reviewer=247
originally posted: 07/04/03 17:56:08
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User Comments

10/30/16 morris campbell dull sadistic crap watch the invisible man instead 1 stars
1/19/14 Luis Paz Awful, awful movie. The scientists in this film have to be the stupidest people ever. 1 stars
8/16/10 PAUL SHORTT SILLY, VIOLENT AND PREDICTABLE 1 stars
7/11/10 art VINCENT PRICE WAS the BEST INVISIBLE MAN! 1 stars
10/23/09 Gangster21 Thank you for having the courage to resign, and to bring this scandalous behaviour to light 5 stars
9/21/09 www.itsallaboutbees.com Vrachah,avromView my complete profile This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects o 5 stars
8/30/08 Shaun Wallner Well Made! 4 stars
4/11/08 R.W. Welch Nifty F/X. Little else of interest. 3 stars
3/02/08 Pamela White suspense with no reason 2 stars
2/11/08 Mark Great movie, violance, nudity and a suspense, I loved it... 5 stars
1/27/07 action movie fan a phenomenon today as well! good invisible man update, one of the best of 2000 4 stars
12/27/06 William Goss An admittedly entertaining hunk of B-grade cheese with superb effects. 3 stars
7/20/06 faraz khan brilliant fiction 5 stars
12/28/05 Sugarfoot The perfect root for the bad guy movie, afterall Kevin Bacon is the only one who can act... 3 stars
8/11/05 ES it's good, its cool, oops it all falls apart, tsk, tsk 2 stars
6/10/05 Indrid Cold Something like this would have been a phenomenon 30 years ago, but it totally sucks now. 2 stars
1/31/05 New Jersey Rules One of the shittiest movies, ever. 1 stars
10/24/04 LUCAS awesome 5 stars
8/27/04 American Slasher Goddess It's decent with some good F/X 3 stars
1/15/04 Samuel Actuallt, a pretty good movie and some good effects 4 stars
1/07/04 John pointless - too bad 1 stars
11/25/03 homer J. Simpson It could have been great, what were you thinking people, elizabeth should have been naked 2 stars
11/04/03 jason Rhona Mitra's nude action was explosive 5 stars
10/01/03 Jinnvisible More like the invisible pervert,,man gains invisibility & turns knickersniffer 1 stars
9/16/03 Charles Tatum Great special effects in a big piece of sci-fi cheese 4 stars
8/04/03 Double G im watching it right now so far it sucks 1 stars
5/06/03 John Bale Great special Fx but pervy and nerdy script makes this teenage fodder. 2 stars
4/29/03 Jin Almost as shitty as Wild Things. Acting was atrocious. 2 stars
3/22/03 Jack Sommersby Vile stuff with nary a whisper of imagination. 1 stars
12/10/02 Garbo Yau Mun this film was great 5 stars
8/05/02 KMG HOLLOW HEAD 3 stars
5/15/02 Blake This movie was okay but it had too much profanity. 4 stars
3/01/02 Andrew Jarret It was crappy, it will be better if they make the raping scene longer and her naked 2 stars
2/28/02 Alan Smithee Starts out good, quickly turns unbelievably dumb. Ms. Shue doesn't get naked either...... 2 stars
2/27/02 Sklorsh Could have been much better - More boobs 2 stars
2/25/02 Jenny Tullwartz STIR OF ECHOES, WILD THINGS, now this - Will Kevin Bacon ever get out of purgatory? 1 stars
1/16/02 David A. Interesting. Also, I loved the joke about Superman and Wonder Woman. 4 stars
12/01/01 Scottish Kilt Starts well, then becomes too predictable, and turns into utter pish. 2 stars
11/14/01 Mike Good effects. Tired story. Crap out ending. 2 stars
10/31/01 Monster W. Kung Good effects, but the script blows. First part OK, the rest is trash. 2 stars
10/16/01 Mr. Hat An awesome gem for the first hour and 15 minutes, but the rest sort of weighs it down. 4 stars
5/05/01 The Moorhen I can't believe I bought this. Rhona Mitra (shower chick) is the only good bit. 2 stars
4/24/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Starts Sci-Fi thriller, ends Slasher Flick. That concept usually works better in reverse. 3 stars
4/22/01 sequoia if you wnat an exciting movie with a great plot......see something else! 2 stars
4/11/01 Jesse L Only way to save it was to go for full nudity.. It was awful.. 1 stars
3/21/01 Thomas J. movie is about as useless as Tipper Gores ovaries! 1 stars
1/11/01 Matt69 Piece of shit, except when he bangs the hot bitch across the street 2 stars
1/06/01 I love movies no story. NO STORY! Just a stupid Superman joke! 1 stars
1/04/01 The Bomb 69 good throughout but the ending was a letdown 4 stars
10/31/00 joe if you go expecting a mad slasher movie with some spectacular effects , you'll like it. 4 stars
9/14/00 Ground Zero a rehash of the classic Invisible Man flick 3 stars
9/10/00 bullit17 Great special effects. Entertaining. Not much of a plot, but what is these days? 4 stars
9/10/00 MIKE AWFUL. NO PLOT. I WOULD RATHER KISS A WOMAN THEN SEE THIS AGAIN! 1 stars
9/07/00 Wafer This is my bottom 5 of all time. seriously 1 stars
8/28/00 coby de beer it,s very good 4 stars
8/25/00 matthew smith visually, very impressive 4 stars
8/16/00 PhilmPhreak Not as bad as everyone says it is. 4 stars
8/14/00 Truckgirl held my attention til the very end when it got a little crazy... 4 stars
8/13/00 Bueller Woulda, coulda, shoulda, mighta, oughta have made a better movie! Hollow plot and acting! 2 stars
8/12/00 Robert Sharp WAIT UNTIL IT COMES TO VIDEO 3 stars
8/12/00 Zaccone Truely horrible 1 stars
8/10/00 pipeman Watchable until the last 15 minutes when all hell breaks loose with the script and dialoge. 4 stars
8/10/00 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Even with the hella special FX and talented cast, the movie seems, well...hollow... 3 stars
8/09/00 Poetcdh Cliche, cliche, cliche--wait for it at the $1.00 movie 1 stars
8/09/00 Ilia Rogachev The freezer cooling fans had an on/off dial on them as plain as day. No hair circulation. 1 stars
8/09/00 PJ So So Bad! it's O.K. Campy crap done well 3 stars
8/09/00 Sarah Johnson If you are expecting a well thought out suspensful thriller this is not it. 2 stars
8/08/00 Captain Highcrime Great FX, Shitty dialogue/acting: about as scary as power failure in the daytime. 4 stars
8/08/00 KoHawk Great effects, but we're stuck in a science lab for 2 hrs. Tell me he wouldn't go to city. 3 stars
8/08/00 TheAngryMob Loads O Fun! 4 stars
8/08/00 JussMatt Plenty of T&A, and special effects, but with all that $$ you think they could find a plot!! 3 stars
8/07/00 Doctor Collosus Needs more T&A dammit. 3 stars
8/07/00 Gil Carlson Mindless and gratuitous 3 stars
8/07/00 Marv Albert...SUpa Pervert! give me T&A and i'll be a happy camper 4 stars
8/07/00 Barry Pretty damned good...best special effects yet and good storyline as well! 5 stars
8/06/00 mahone Hollywood: spend money on scripts!!! 3 stars
8/06/00 Georges'sThumbInMyBumb um, just another flick for kevin to try to flash his more then tiny dong 1 stars
8/06/00 Tony The Lurch I've lost my faith in "Erik the Movieman" this movie truly blew 1 stars
8/06/00 chuck Should have waited for the $1.00 movie theater 2 stars
8/06/00 ILuvADrugDealer Script&ending are kind of crappy, but special effects were *AWESOME*! 4 stars
8/05/00 **~**yeah and he was gay**~** interesting, but still lacking, the special fx saved this movie 3 stars
8/05/00 Dr. King Amazing fx and trashy fun. Plus Kevin Bacon needs an Honorary Oscar for his hard work 5 stars
8/03/00 Jokko Hilariously bad. I mean BAD. I had no idea they could put out Battlefield Earth II so fast. 1 stars
8/02/00 Rue the Whirl Pure Hollywood trash. 2 stars
8/02/00 Tim Ryan So bad, seeing it for free was still a rip off. 2 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  04-Aug-2000 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  24-Aug-2000 (MA)




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