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Having discovered they could turn animals invisible, a group of scientists test the subject on a human. Head of research, Dr. Sebastian Caine decides to use himself as the subject. After the experiment can't be reversed, it takes a toll on Caine's personality, causing him to hunt down and kill his colleagues
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A group of scientists led by arrogant but brilliant Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) make a breakthrough on their research into invisibility. But before proper testing can be done Caine impatiently pushes forward with experimenting on a human and volunteers himself as the guinea pig. The experiment appears to work and Caine becomes an invisible man, savoring his newfound ability and using it in inappropriate ways. But when the procedure to make him visible again fails, Caine's mind starts to experience side effects that make him violent and dangerous.
Essentially an updated version of the Invisible Man story. Not surprisingly, since this is directed by Paul Verhoeven, there is a lot of focus on the sexual aspect of a man becoming invisible. Particularly that he uses his new situation to become a super pervert and rapist. Pretty much every woman in the cast is molested or worse. While the movie doesn't condone these actions, it is obvious that this is the part of the story that fascinates Verhoeven the most. It's kind of icky and exploitative. Kevin Bacon gives a particularly sleazy performance as Caine. Elisabeth Shue, Josh Brolin, and Kim Dickens are all fine but none of the characters in this are written as relatable or likable. Rhona Mitra has a bit part as Caine's neighbor and victim. I don't believe she had any lines and appeared to have been cast just for how nice her breasts are.
Despite the disturbing elements, it's a watchable movie of its type. The special effects are decent given the time in which this was made when CGI was still often spotty. Honestly the most impressive effects aren't that different from the impressive effects of older Invisible Man movies. The second half is probably better than the first. It's essentially 'slasher 101' with Caine going after his colleagues. Yes, it's predictable, but it's well-done and somewhat exciting. Could've done without Jerry Goldsmith's obtrusive generic score, though.
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