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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> August 2000 >> Hollow Man

Hollow Man

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
3 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
August 2000
IMDB Name:
Hollow Man (2000)
Paul Verhoeven
action, sci-fi, suspense
MPAA Rating:
R for strong violence, language and some sexuality/nudity.

Now You See It...

If anyone is going to make an invisible man movie, Paul Verhoeven seems like a terrific choice. This is the man behind Starship Troopers and Total Recall. His visual style is breathtaking. The scenes of humans and animals changing from visible to invisible one body part at a time are a wonder to behold. Of course, it wouldn't be Verhoeven without a good dose of gratuitous sexiness, as in the fondling of a bare breast by an unseen hand and some voyeurism. This is, after all, the director of Showgirls and Basic Instinct. Kevin Bacon, who's already bared it all in Wild Things, feels no shame in the brief naked moments and those amusing infrared shots. Of course, it also wouldn't be Verhoeven without a good dose of gratuitous violence as well, including more injections, needles, and harm to animals than I needed to see.

I must admit that for all of the problems listed below, I did enjoy the movie on some non- visual levels. The execution is very well timed from an action perspective. The acting, from most of the cast is about right for the plot, but Kevin Bacon surpasses the material. His history of sleazy roles in movies like Wild Things and Telling Lies in America makes it all the easier to believe his mad scientist routine here.

Cast Connections

The vet played by Kim Dickens certainly looked familiar. She was the wily heroine in Zero Effect. Joey Slotnick was the soda jerk-turned-archbishop in Blast From the Past. William Devane, the military man to whom the team reports, was the first boss to eat it in Payback. Darned if I can see the resemblance, but Elisabeth Shue was the daughter in Soapdish.

Cliché Collection

Once it's been established that Sebastian is out to cause some mayhem, I was bemused that Mary Jo Randle's character, the only racial minority, was the first to go. This is a slight variation on the old "Brother Always Dies First" rule. Before I'd even guessed that, I observed that she was at the back of the group and went back to get something. Anyone versed in horror films could spot that a mile away. I also couldn't help but notice that only the sexiest characters were alive at the end. It would've been fun to have the savior be, say, the vet or the emergency tech. They were pretty thoroughly killed already, but that would've just made it all the better.

Nitpicking Spoilers!

I recognize that a movie like this offers so many wonders for the eyes that the brains should be allowed a night off. This is, after all, a Summer movie, and a Paul Verhoeven one at that. Unfortunately, my brain didn't disconnect sufficiently.

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Copyright 2000-2001 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.