(out of 5)
In this uncredited remake of H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, Kevin Bacon plays a research scientist who decides to test his new invisibility serum on himself. Colleague Elisabeth Shue doesn’t believe that a quick advance to human testing should be done when they haven’t had full success with animals yet, but Bacon insists that the project needs to keep moving into the future. With the help of his medical staff and some absolutely awe-inspiring visual effects, Bacon is transformed into the unseen man, and here’s where the story always get interesting: what if a person was gifted with superhuman abilities, and instead of turning them towards good and becoming yet another boring superhero in tights, they decided to use them for their own diabolical purposes? Soon Bacon is spying on his neighbours, manipulating his friends and losing all regard for the importance of preserving human life. Paul Verhoeven has a rampant good time telling this story with plenty of sex and violence, which isn’t really necessary but at least makes the film feel more honest; after all, it’s the reason we go to see these movies, so there’s no point in cutting out the nasty stuff just to secure a PG-13 rating and improve your box office results. At the same time, the screenplay never maintains the momentum towards its finish that it started out with, leaving you dissatisfied but still impressed. These are some of the best visual effects to be seen on the screen in years, and after so many films have left audiences numb to the capabilities of computer generated imagery from having already seen everything done before, it’s a marvel that these effects can so catch your eye.
Directed by Paul Verhoeven
Cinematography by Jost Vacano
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Production Design by Allan Cameron
Costume Design by Ellen Mirojnick
Film Editing by Mark Goldblatt