Hollow Man

Hollow Man has some interesting ideas and special effects, even though it is working on the age-old theme of turning human beings invisible and witnessing the consequences that comes with the power.

Sebastian Cline (Kevin Bacon) is a brilliant, and stereotypically arrogant, scientist. Funded by the Pentagon (always acknowledge the source of your grant support), he manages to succeed in turning objects and living things invisible through the use of a "quantum phase shift". He volunteers to be the first subject (never test a hypothesis on yourself) when his test gorilla is brought back successfully.

Turning invisible however appears to have side-effects, feeding on Cline's already fragile psyche. When the invisibility reversal doesn't go through as planned, Cline is stuck to being invisible and ends up on a killing spree. (Clearly he doesn't subscribe to the Spiderman tenet which says "with great power comes great responsibility".) His colleagues, including former love Linda McKay (Elisabeth Sue) and Matthew Kensington (Josh Brolin) must stop him because he kills them.

Scientifically, the biggest problem with Cline's phase-shifted invisibility is how he can see. On the one hand, light seems to pass through his eyelids. Yet the same light appears to be able to bounce off of his retina.

The ideas/effects involving the disappearance and reappearance of the organisms are what make this film cool, even though all the scientific garbage doesn't amount to much. The Invisible Man/Superman/Wonder Woman joke is funny. Bacon steals the show while Shue and Brolin present mediocre performances. In fact, all the other characters with the exception of Bacon's are so bad that I felt a more apt ending would've been to kill them all off.

Hollow Man is a semi-decent fun and scary film to watch with some amazing special effects. The effects are all the more special because they rely more on ingenuity than the intensity of explosions. I recommend checking it out on the big screen.

Movie ram-blings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org