I remember the first time I saw Hollow Man, when it first came out in theaters in 2000. I was about 16 and thought it was really intense, visually awesome, and quite sexy. Apparently it didn’t bother me that most of the sexuality here has a creepy rape factor to it. I’ve seen the film several times since, and seen the lesser known cast members go on to do some great work. When Hollow Man 2 came out in 2006 I checked it out hoping it would live up to the original, and while it is a completely watchable movie, it’s no Hollow Man.
The premise is simple. A team of biologists have created a serum that makes people completely invisible. So, when Dr. Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) wants to jump to human testing and injects himself with the serum, it’s a big boost to his already gigantic ego. When he can’t manage to reverse the effects, he slowly goes crazy and ultimately begins to kill off his co-workers.
As sci-fi, I really appreciate that the film spends zero time trying to explain how the invisibility serum works, and how this technology is plausible. Science is boring and many many many sci-fi movies waste time trying to convince their audience that they’re premise could happen. As an audience member, I’m willing to believe a lot to get on board with the premise of a film. In fact, it’s usually the explanations given in bad sci-fi movies that make it harder for me to accept. Hollow Man just says “we have a potion that makes you invisible and grumpy” and I’m good to go.
Hollow Man 2 is pretty good about this too, even though they do fill boring scenes with exposition about how light passing freely through the body of an invisible person destroys the host’s cells. Hollow Man 2 begins after the subject, Michael (Christian Slater) has been invisible for a substantial amount of time. He’s loose in the world and trying to hunt down a serum called the buffer, which protects the invisible cells from deteriorating. So, it falls to Detective Frank Turner (Peter Facinelli) to protect the last remaining living scientist from Michael.
While the sequel is an enjoyable film, my big problem with it is that it jumps right into the suspense/thriller rather than building up to it organically like in the original Hollow Man. Structuring the film like this calls attention to the fact that there isn’t much going on besides the chase. At one point, Michael gets the idea to make the doctor (Laura Regan) invisible. I’m probably reading too much into it, but I thought the plan was to make her need to recreate the coveted buffer serum in order to save her own life. That idea was really interesting to me, but it doesn’t present itself until way late in the film (if at all…).
No special features for either film here, but the transfer to Blu-ray looks good, so if you are a Hollow Man fan, you’ll want to pick these up.
Available on Blu-Ray from Mill Creek Entertainment on March 26.