WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A merciless scientist (Kevin Bacon) with help from his team of researchers (Elizabeth Shue, Josh Brolin), has perfected a serum which allows its recipient to completely vanish into thin air. Bacon decides to become the first human test subject and subsequently survives the eventual transformation. Much to his dismay, the team is unable to bring him back into visibility and must quickly work on perfecting the formulaís antidote. Struggling with his image (or lack thereof), he begins to mentally unravel, taking matters into his own hands.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This is without question, one of the most visually impressive films to come along in some time. The actual process of becoming invisible and reappearing, which is showcased several times, will absolutely blow your mind. Everything seems so astonishingly real and we often forget that weíre watching a movie. Despite itís heavy reliance on special effects, the storyline is by no means weak. Weíre presented with an intriguing story of how ambition and a desire for fame and fortune can completely consume an individual. As a result, we see Baconís character undergo both a physical and psychological transformation, compelling him towards his final acts of insanity and madness.
The movie itself also explores the darker side of human nature through the powers of invisibility. We watch in disbelief as he indulges in plenty of groping and one particularly disturbing rape scene. All of the above basically serves as a set-up for a thrilling final 20 minutes, which left me quite satisfied. One thing did bother me, though. During several scenes, Bacon does his best Energizer Bunny impersonation after getting repeatedly burnt and electrocuted, only to survive and return for more. Címon guys, how much punishment can one man take? Regardless, director Verhoeven has put together a entertaining movie which despite its glitzy effects, is far more complex than one might think, given its premise. A solid effort from start to finish.
After having first seen this movie during the summer, my hopes of getting extensive FX featurettes have finally been realized. They managed to demystify practically every key special effect shot in the movie. "Fleshing Out the Hollow Man" is split into 10 "chapters" which total close to a half hour, explaining the painstaking work that went into making the concept of visibility a reality. We learn how they managed to create the invisibility effect while in the presence of smoke, water and fire. Definitely worth a look.
"Hollow Man: Anatomy of a Thriller" is a 15 minute behind the scenes look at the actors, crew and effects people. It came off as being kind of fluffy but should satisfy most viewers. In it youíll see Verhoeven do his best screeching gorilla imitation which was flat out hilarious. Itís obvious the man really gets into his work. "VFX Picture-in-Picture Comparisons" breaks down 3 key FX sequences by showing how multiple shots were combined to create a finished scene. Itís easily one of the cooler features Iíve seen on a DVD. Theyíve also managed to include 3 deleted scenes which are spliced with commentary from the director himself. A theatrical and teaser trailer finish off the extras. The DVD features full sound and completely animated menus, duplicating the radiation chamber from the movie.
Hollow Manís DVD surpassed all of my expectations with great special features and pristine audio and video. If you think that the special effects in the movie were incredible, wait until you see how they were created. From start to finish, this is a stellar release which is worthy of your hard earned dollars.