An arrogant scientist tests an experimental invisibility serum on
himself, giving him free reign to explore his dark, criminal fantasies.
Hollow Man (2000)
Directed by Paul Verhoeven
Written by Andrew W. Marlowe
Starring Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue, Josh Brolin,
Kim Dickens, Greg Grunberg, Joey Slotnick, Mary Randle
Oscar Nominations - Best Visual Effects
Hollow Man is such a blatant rip-off of The Invisible Man that it's amazing Universal didn't straight up sue the production. And I know that just because there's an invisible man in the movie, it doesn't mean it's stealing from The Invisible Man. It's not just that. It's the scientific discovery, the scientist's descent into madness, and the overall chaos that follows. Props to the 2020 remake of The Invisible Man for actually finding a creative new way to do an invisible man story. But this is just weak. Outside of Tremors and Stir of Echoes (If I'm feeling generous), Kevin Bacon's track record with horror is remarkably underwhelming.
Sebastian Caine (Bacon) is a brilliant but dangerously arrogant scientist who is recruited by a secret government project to unlock the secrets of invisibility. Weirdly, they never say "invisible." They say something like "quantum shifting," which just feels obnoxious. Anyway, Caine decides to test the serum on himself, and it turns him invisible. However, they can't figure out how to turn him back, and the invisible juice triggers Caine's sociopathic tendencies and he starts raping and murdering his way through his coworkers. Caine was already an asshole from the start, so it's not a big jump. Overall, it just feels generic and predictable.
The visual effects are unique, particularly during the injection sequences. I don't know if they were good enough for a Best Visual Effects nomination, but here we are. I don't know what I wanted from Hollow Man, but I didn't get it. Why is Caine suddenly a nearly invincible boogeyman at the end of the movie? How did Brolin survive the life-threatening wound that made him pass out from blood loss but let him climb a ladder to safety immediately after? So many questions, so little time.