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
When Sebastian and Linda are talking about their past relationship, she mentions time travel as a metaphor. Real time travel and invisibility with a dark side, are major themes in two of the best known H.G Wells novels, one of which inspired this movie. See more »
Latex smeared on end of breathing tube disappears in subsequent scene. See more »
I remember really looking forward to "Hollow Man" when it came out in 2000 because the idea of becoming invisible is intriguing. I was entertained when I saw it, but also somewhat disappointed; an odd mix. Viewing it again last night I was wondering if I'd have the same impression and the answer is yes.
The story revolves around a group of young-ish scientists (who are too edgy and "hip" to be believable) working on a serum for the government that can make people invisible. Their secret lab is underground in an industrial sector of Washington DC. They've been experimenting on animals, including a gorilla, with some success, but the group leader, Sebastian (Kevin Bacon), wants to take the next step by prematurely experimenting on himself. Havok ensues.
Elisabeth Shue and Josh Brolin play key teammembers, Linda and Matthew. Linda is also Sebastian's ex-girlfriend who's secretly seeing Matthew, which stirs Sebastian's jealousy when he finds out. (But why should he care since he's no longer seeing her?)
I don't know if it's the fault of the director or writer, but they go a little overboard in trying to make the protagonists edgy (overkill cussing, etc.) to the point that the characters somewhat lose the viewer's sympathy. Thankfully, it's just a little overboard because most of the rest of the researchers are likable beyond Sebastian. And Linda and Matthew weren't really doing anything wrong by seeing each other since, again, Linda was no longer Sebastian's babe.
Even though one member of the team morphs into the villain, he's not without interesting qualities in the first half of the movie. In fact, I can't help but respect his "we're the originators of this project so we make the rules" attitude and his consequent refusal to submit to the manipulative authorities over him.
While there are some outside sequences (shot in DC and L.A.) the bulk of the film is confined to the underground lab, shot on sets in Culver City. The good thing is that these sets are excellent, as far as underground labs go, but it makes for a one-dimensional viewing.
Memorable and amusing parts abound, however, like the excellent F/X of the partially appearing/disappearing gorilla and, later, Sebastian. Also, the amusing way invisible-Sebastian has some fun with a couple of kids in another car. There's also a laugh-out-loud joke about Superman, Wonder Woman and the "Invisible Man," crude though it may be. I also like the double meaning of the title: Sebastian isn't just a hollow man literally, but also due to his ignoble character -- arrogance, lust, etc.
While "Hollow Man" is a sci-fi/thriller it takes on horror elements and clichés in the final act as the researchers are wiped out one by one. Who will survive? So, while "Hollow Man" is worth watching, it's far from great, mainly because it fails to take advantage of the promising material and essentially becomes a one-dimensional boogeyman movie.
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