Reviewed by: Dave Murray
David S. Goyer
What's it about
In this remake of a Swedish film and novel of the same name, except this time an American exercise in vacuous teen angst and a thoroughly unbelievable cast and story, The Invisible tells the story of two "invisible" teens (Gag me). Nick is a spoiled "artist", and Annie is an oh-so-tough (but gorgeous) brooding chick who steals jewels with her boyfriend (who also happens to be able to hot-wire a Benz that requires a special and unique electronic key...so he's awesome!) and kicks the ever loving shit out of Nick when she mistakenly thinks he ratted her out to the cops. But contrary to the ad campaign, Nick isn't murdered, but rather he lies hidden in a coma as his ghost wanders around and cries at people for a few days. Oh yeah, and the chick who whuped his ass is the only one who can save him! Huh?
Is it good movie?
If you are looking for a 102 minute music video by not one, not two, but a whole gym full of shitty "emo" bands, then you came to the right place! This movie, which contains neither a convincing story nor a passable acting performance, is so overly dramatic (without any real convincing human drama), overwrought (about shit that we, the audience really don't care about) and long that it feels like being stuck in the longest, hottest traffic jam ever with the radio stuck on a "popular alternative" station, and the most insipid and mentally deficient person you've ever known talking endlessly in your bleeding ears. Either that or it feels like being bent over and ...well, you get the idea. Now, I'm not all about snap judgments and blanket statements. I did hate this movie for a reason. So buckle up, kiddies, this is going to be long and painful.
First up - Script and directing. Now, David Goyer is one kick ass screenwriter (Dark City, Blade and Batman Begins are fine examples), but when it comes to directing it seems that all of his talent goes flying out of his head quicker than you can say "Holy Sequels, Batman"! It can be said that most of his talent lies in writing, or that rather most of the success of the movies he has written has depended on the talent of the directors he has worked with (del Toro, Norrington, Nolan). Apparently sucking while directing your own writing wasn't enough for him (as in the case of Blade: Trinity), but it would seem that he is even worse at directing other people's scripts! All we get here are a lot of atmospheric and overused "dramatic" camera angles, and a lack of anything visually interesting. The mood here is depression and, of course, angst. A sense that the world doesn't understand what uniquely happens to each and every bloody teenager on the planet. Unlike Blade: Trinity, however, which had a few touches that spoke of some talent behind the lens mixed in with the wanting to punch Parker Posey in the teeth, this movie manages to display the lack of emotional depth in its story, and the visual style, much like the music videos it is emulating, becomes as vacuous as the plot and the drama that I am supposed to be caring about, but which is boring me into drinking. Yes, I weep for the future of comic book movies if Goyer continues to be the "go to" guy. He can write them (with help?), but dear gods don't let him direct any more of them?!? Thank the gods he's only involved with the story for The Dark Knight, but Magneto could prove to be an even bigger stinker than X3. Aside from some trippy "look I broke shit/no I really didn't cause I'm a f*cking ghost" scenes, and lots of slow motion running, crying, posing and brooding, there's not much visually to this one, which is just one of the reasons it ghosted through theaters with hardly a blip. I mean, sure the flick looks pretty, but that's not enough to redeem it's shallowness and stupidity.
Right, enough bashing Goyer. On with bashing this movie! Next - The Acting. Justin Chatwin is, simply put, boring as hell in the lead role. Watching him brood around, half dead, yelling at people and imagining that he can wreck shit, only to have it be normal after his tantrum, well, it gets tedious. The guy is probably a good actor, but too bad all he has to work with is this shitty script. Margarita Levieva showed a little promise early onas the tortured bad girl Annie, but that soon fell apart. Her home life, which is supposedly so bad it drove her to crime, is actually pretty good. Also, I have trouble buying the gorgeous girl as a street tough. As if she wouldn't be the most popular girl at that school! Her tough girl image rests solely on looking menacing (and failing to do so) and the fact that she wears a winter toque through 90% of the movie. The fact that this girl has quite the impressive mane of hair under there makes me wonder how she fits it all under that hat without looking like Marge Simpson. Her bad girl act is so painfully transparent, especially when we are treated to a montage where, like any brooding street thug and master criminal, she just has to shed her confining emo uniform, go to a club and just dance (very seductively I might add). Add to this a very clean Disney shower scene, just as Nick is beginning to fall for her, and the whole sloppy dynamic of her character now makes no sense at all. Finally, while I loved Chris Marquette in the hilarious Girl Next Door, in this flick, as the 'friend' who sells Nick out to Annie and her thug cronies, is whiny and pathetic. His best scene was his suicide, since I figured we were going to get some good old fashioned retribution, but shit, even that was taken away. His fate is left untold, but I'm sure he survived, and now he and Nick write some more shitty and overly angsty poetry together.
And don't get me started on the superhuman powers displayed by Annie. Apparently she is invisible to police, can make everyone think she is a badass as opposed to her true nature (the spoiled hottie of a teen girl who needs a spanking and nap, and then some serious fashion intervention), and if that weren't enough she can seemingly do about a thousand things with a nasty gut wound! Superhuman, I tell ya! She's just as awesome as her boyfriend! As an audience, we are being asked not only to suspend our disbelief, but to quit believing in reality altogether! The fact that the writers of this fluffy turd would think we could care about these characters, even as two dimensionally insipid as they are, and that they would ask us to make such giant leaps of logic just to follow the obviously confused thread of this story. If you followed the ad campaign for this flick, you would know that it was touted as a murder mystery, and even as an edgy teen version of movies like The Sixth Sense, the producers of which appear in the credits of this stinker as well. Well, you can't have a murder mystery when a) the person isn't dead, and b) you know who bloddy well kicked his ass! "Together they must solve his murder".....um, what? Excuse me? Are we talking about the same movie here?!?
I could go on and on, but really bad movies with stupid spray painted all over them give me a headache. And right now I feel a massive aneurism coming on. They must think teenagers are retarded these days if this is the PG13 drivel that is getting put out for their entertainment.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen - 2.35:1.
Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French and Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0) and subtitles in French and Spanish, with English Closed Captioning.
Aside from 13 Minutes of Deleted Scenes, which feature even more overwrought teen angst and simpering emo music (and completely failing any of the massive plot holes in the movie), we are given an Audio Commentary by Director Goyer and writer Christine Roum (which I had trouble listening too, mostly because I have to take Goyer with a grain of salt so huge a cow could lick it for a month), and also a second commentary by the other writer, Mick Davis. Apparently he doesn't like David Goyer either, or maybe he wasn't invited to the other commentary? Neither offers much insight into this poor remake of a more superior foreign work.
And as if the whole movie being an emo music video didn't get the point across to us, we are presented with 2 Music Videos by Sparta and 30 Seconds To Mars (Who?). Both are prime examples that musical talent died a noble death sometime in 1993. Either that or it's living in seclusion in Newfoundland.
This movie is the cinematic equivalent of masturbating with a cheese grater, and whether you are male or female, that is frightening enough a concept to keep far away. Well, unless you are a 13 year old kid who cries so hard listening to Good Charlotte that it makes your mascara run, and again either gender is included. Despite some of the talent involved, this is a painfully drawn out and pointless movie, with little to no emotional depth, cardboard characterizations, an implausible story and, like I said before, enough shitty music to make you want to shove a screwdriver in your ear just for the entertainment value. I'll admit it, I cried while watching this movie. I cried because my poor brain couldn't comprehend how a movie this impossibly bad could be made and released. I get it already! Teens are filled with nothing but hormones and angst, their self centered emotions and motivations make no sense to anyone, and the music they listen too is nothing but shit. And yet somehow I am expected to give a rat's ass. Point taken. Then ignored.