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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
Paul Verhoeven was dissatisfied with the film. In 2013, he remarked to The Hollywood Reporter: "I decided after Hollow Man, this is a movie, the first movie that I made that I thought I should not have made. It made money and this and that, but it really is not me anymore. I think many other people could have done that. I don't think many people could have made RoboCop that way, or either Starship Troopers. But Hollow Man, I thought there might have been twenty directors in Hollywood who could have done that. I felt depressed with myself after 2002." In earlier interviews, Verhoeven explained that the job was offered in a period where many of his proposed movie projects had fallen through, and he accepted to stay in business. See more »
The type of fire extinguishes used towards the end to spot Sebastian are type B, meaning they use carbon dioxide to take away the oxygen and release a heavy cold. This meant Sebastian (as well as the others nearby) would have passed out from lack of oxygen, and breathing in noxious gases. Much more of problem is when a flame thrower was used against him. His clothes and latex skin would not have protected from even one burst of flame like that. In fact, they would have fused with his skin and left full-thickness burns. If that did not kill him instantly, he would have been in way too much pain to do anything. See more »
"Hollow Man" seems to improve on second viewing. Yes, it is formulaic. Yes, it is cheesy but for all that it is unabashedly entertaining. On its release it was quite a disappointment considering the talent involved. On reappraisal this film is far better than any action movie delivered by Hollywood since September 11th 2001.
Kevin Bacon is a huge talent and his performance is excellent given the limitations of the script and SFX process. Elisabeth Shue is also extremely engaging. The problem lies in the script. What needed to be explored more fully is the use of such an extreme talent. The guy is invisible. So what can he get up too? All he achieves is the molestation of the beautiful Rhonda Mitra. Kevin Bacon is portraying an eccentric genius. Can he not think of something more inventive than rape?
The direction is pretty pedestrian for Paul Verhoven considering his remarkable talent in this field. "Hollow Man" is a continuation of Paul Verhoven's love affair with Special Effects. Unfortunately the SFX appear stagy and unsubtle. Some effects are very well done but not all of them.
The best effect is a simple one and proves Verhoven as a master of the medium. Kevin Bacon leaves a celebratory dinner but we do not see him leave. Elisabeth Shue turns and is confronted with an empty chair. This simple device works remarkably well because it is rather creepy and unexpected. More moments of such simple imagination and ingenuity needed to be introduced into the proceedings rather that the complete reliance on computer effects. Less is more, as they say.
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