ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Hollow Man (2000)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Paul Verhoeven

Starring:
Kevin Bacon/Sebastian
Elisabeth Shue/Linda
Josh Brolin/Matt
Kim Dickens/Sarah
PLOT-CRUNCH
Scientist with a god complex Sebastian Kane (Bacon), tries the experiment that he and his team have been working on for some time… on himself. The procedure in question renders a living being invisible. Once Sebastian makes himself disappear he is faced with a new existence, an existence with no consequences. Does sin exist if nobody sees you commit it? Bloody murder sure does…
THE LOWDOWN
There are two ways this movie could have gone: psychological thriller or big Hollywood action/horror flick. Guess which way this one goes? Here’s a hint…it’s directed by Paul Verhoeven…You got it, this is a Hollywood beast that just don’t quit.. It’s filled with spectacular visual effects, breathtaking action set pieces and enough blood to feed " Vampire Lestat" for a year! The movie does touch upon the question: What would invisibility do to a man? Would he be stripped of all his values cause his actions would have no consequence? But it touches the theme lightly. What the movie is really about is giving you lots of big thrills for your bucks.

Hollow Man has more in common with Alien, Deep Blue Sea (which it reminded me lots of) or any other "claustrophobic" thriller than a psychological study and to an extent that’s my biggest complaint. The movie brings up an interesting question but answers it with gore and a "we’re trapped in an isolated area with evil on our tail" scenario. I would have loved to see Bacon out there more, see what he would do in general population, do to strangers. Bacon does get out of the lab but he doesn’t do much except for one incident that involves a hot neighbor of his. That scene is the only segment that really emphasizes the theme "would you do this if you were invisible?" and unfortunately the scene is cut short, therefore lessening it’s impact. The movie is not about that.

The film has some occasionally bad dialogue, some moments of disbelief (I didn’t know being invisible made you stronger and oblivious to large amounts of pain…flames don’t kill this guy) but I can’t deny the fact that this movie thrilled my movie going butt. It takes the time to establish it’s characters and then bombards us with crazy visuals (some of the best I have ever seen), tense action and dangerous stunts. Yes all the "claustrophobic" thriller conventions are there and trying something "original" would’ve been nice but even if you see most of the plot twists coming, they’re still lots of fun when they happen. This is a big movie with a mean edge. This is Hollywood with all it’s qualities and faults. Trip on this…
GORE
Verhoeven is no stranger to blood (think Total Recall) and he delivers again on the splatter quotient (I love the dog scene). The visuals are also excellent, seeing Bacon skinless running around killing people is a treat.
ACTING
Bacon (Sebastian) gives an astounding show as the invisible nut, I never really got to the point where I hated him (to be honest, I rooted for him) and whatever level of appearance he’s at, Bacon’s strong presence is always there. Elisabeth Shue (Linda) does fine with the generic female heroine part…not much to do here but react (she does have the occasional bad line). Josh Brolin (Matt) plays Josh Brolin again but this time with glasses…it’s a great role. Kim Dickens (Sara) does good and looks great. She has a weird sex appeal that The Arrow digs. Greg Grunberg (Carter) brings the comic relief, I never heard of him but I found him extremely sympathetic.
T & A
Verhoven is no stranger to tits either (think Showgirls) and we get a couple of breast shots that don’t disappoint. Shue keeps her top on though…she’s a star you know. Kevin shows his bacon…ding dong…
DIRECTING
Verhoeven strikes again. The film looks great and you feel that Verhoeven vibe flowing throughout the movie (you’ll know what I’m saying when u see it). The film is tight and he sure knows how to set up suspense sequences with kick arse payoffs. Good show, big guy!
SOUNDTRACK
Some hard pumping rock songs and a eerie score.
BOTTOM LINE
If you’re looking for a deep exploration of a man’s psyche go somewhere else. But if you’re in the mood for tension, gore, violence, incredible eye candy, action up the wazoo and Kevin Bacon being an invisible bad ass then Hollow Man is for you. Once you get over the missed opportunity (on the part of the filmmakers) of making an "original" flick, you might enjoy this overblown, effect crazy and familiar horror entry. They still could’ve taken more chances with this one.
BULL'S EYE
Paul Verhoeven declined Basic Instinct 2. Good call.
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