Hollow Man


Reviewed by: Symon Parsons

Hollow Man
"The word 'restraint' is to Paul Verhoeven what 'talent' is to Steps."

The word "restraint" is to Paul Verhoeven what "talent" is to Steps. To Paul, a fight scene means Arnie sticking an iron bar in someone's eye-socket and a love scene is Sharon Stone with no keks on.

So when Hollow Man opens with a scene of a rat being eaten by an invisible moggy, you KNOW it's not going to go anywhere good from there.

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Kevin Bacon plays Sebastian Caine, a brilliant, yet arrogant scientist who perfects a method to phase shift an organism out of quantum sequence with the visible universe (invisibilise them, to you and me.) In this he is aided by his ex, Elisabeth Shue and her boyfriend, Josh Brolin.

After perfecting the method to make his subjects visible again, Kevin decides to try the process on himself but finds that he can't. Worse, being invisible increases aggression, and Kevin starts wandering off, chuntering on about wanting to fully explore the limits of the new world he's created (by which he means perving at nudey women.)

At this point Elisabeth and Josh decide to end the project. But Kevin's on their trail, and with a cry of "Fools! I'll destroy them all!" the film turns into a monster movie in which the protagonists helpfully split up, while shouting "Sebastian! Sebastiiiian!!" so that they can more easily be located by deranged-invisible-mutant-psycho-Kevin.

Verhoeven leaves the usual bad taste in the mouth with his misogyny and lack of subtlety. Surprisingly, his handling of suspense is also somewhat inept in this film - he follows horror conventions to the point where his film becomes almost predictable.

This is the sort of movie that usually languishes at Blockbuster alongside films with titles like "Alien Species", "Mutant Progeny" and "Alien Mutant Species Progeny". It's not bad, but considering the talent and money involved, it's distinctly unimpressive.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Hollow Man packshot
Modern take on the Invisible Man sees Kevin Bacon do a disappearing act.
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Read more Hollow Man reviews:

Keith Hennessey Brown ***
Angus Wolfe Murray ***

Director: Paul Verhoeven

Writer: Andrew W Marlowe

Starring: Elisabeth Shue, Kevin Bacon, Josh Brolin, Kim Dickens, Greg Grunberg, Joey Slotnick, Mary Randle, William Devane, Rhona Mitra, Pablo Espinosa, Margot Rose

Year: 2000

Runtime: 93 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US


EIFF 2000

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