Hollow Man is a 2000 American science-fiction horror film directed by Paul Verhoeven, known for his work in directing the original RoboCop, Total Recall, and the highly coveted, Showgirls film. The movie stars Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth Shue, and Josh Brolin.
The feature received mixed reviews from critics, but was ultimately a box-office success in-retrospect. It was made when a budget of almost one-hundred million, and managed to double that. Which is usually a good sign, particularly for a science-fiction. (It was enough to warrant a sequel)
The movie is notable for having an interesting concept, influenced heavily by The Invisible Man. It is an idea we have seen many times before, but for some reason, it’s an idea that never seems to run out of possibilities. The story is about a scientist that makes a breakthrough in his experimentation on animals, successfully finding a way to make them invisible, and also change them back. Once this happens, he volunteers himself to be the first human to be experimented on, and the story works from there.
He’s sexist, but in-retrospect, that is one of the more minor things that he did throughout the movie. He’s the idea of what a manipulative human-being would do with such a gift, and for that, I think it succeeded with a whimper.
The reason that I say it’s a whimper is because it only touched the basis for what he could have done with such an ability. This is something that everybody always fantasizes about, I would have liked to see him trying to haunt somebody, or at least take a little bit more of a creative approach to everything that he did.
Even still, for the first hour or so, Hollow Man was actually entertaining. I merely believe that they could have done much more than what they did with the opportunity put before them. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the proceeding half-hour or so as it gradually becomes your standard horror. The very second that Sebastian became transparent, there was a transformation in the character was blatant and poorly executed, however, the transformation excelled to such excess by the end. The idea itself made sense, but they didn’t take their time with it, and as a result, the transition didn’t seem organic at all whatsoever, rather, it seemed like they got into a hurry to end the movie and decided that they wanted it to be a slasher movie. The movie went way over-the-top and it was almost detrimental to the entire experience, throwing logic out the window, and throwing away this allegedly intelligent character in-exchange for someone you’d expect to see flailing a chainsaw.
In an effort to keep it simple, I’ll summarize with a final verdict, the movie has entertainment value propelled by halfway decent performances and stellar special-effects, however, it’ll leave a bitter taste in your mouth once it, ahem, loses sight of itself and seeks restitution in all the wrong places.