Hollow Man

What would you do if you were invisible? How far would you go?

From esteemed director Paul Verhoeven who has brought you such classics as Basic Instinct and Starship Troopers comes a reworking of that classic tale – The Invisible Man. Of course, it has been updated to the present with lots of special effects, but the bandages are gone, replaced by an easily removable plastic mask.

Anyway, you might like to know a little of the plot. Sebastian Caine (Bacon) is the scientist in charge of a highly secretive project trying to perfect invisibility plus the opposite process of making things visible again. You soon find out making animals invisible is no problem, but the reverse side of the project is causing major headaches. Then one night Caine comes up with the formula for a chemical which should solve all the problems. Within hours, he has contacted the rest of his staff, got them down to the lab, and had enough chemical made to test on an invisible gorilla.

At this stage, the special effects kick in as you watch the gorilla appear before your very eyes, starting with the beating heart and blood vessels before seeing layers of flesh, bone, skin and finally hair. Having proved it works on animals, Caine persuades the rest to try out the procedure on himself. Yet again, you are treated to stunning effects as Caine's body is stripped layer by layer before he becomes totally invisible.

After 3 days of testing the reverse process is tried, but this time with no effect. As new chemicals are suggested and rejected, Caine starts to lose his mind. First, he escapes the compound, then starts touching up his female assistants, before raping his neighbour. The longer he stays invisible, the worse he gets, with murder and destruction almost the only things on his mind.

Now you have to remember this is only a film and thus certain liberties are taken. Most notably, all the scientific rubbish that is constantly spouted about how they are able to make things invisible (something to do with quantum refracting). I could continue for the rest of this booklet and still not be halfway through other quite blatant errors. In fact, while watching the film, see how many dodgy plot details you find.

The premise of the film is old, but still very good, and most of the effects are stunning, which is reason enough to come and watch this movie. Unfortunately, the acting is not of the highest standard, but that is probably not helped by a script which deteriorates throughout the film. Then you have the plot which ends up as though written by invisible monkeys using invisible typewriters.

Peter Horton

Rotten Tomatoes Score:



Action, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller


Andrew W. Marlowe


Paul Verhoeven


Elizabeth Shue, Kevin Bacon, Josh Brolin, Kim Dickens, Greg Grunberg, Rhona Mitra


Jerry Goldsmith


112 minutes








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