Hollow Man (2000)

(In theaters, August 2000) Let’s get something out of the way first: The special effects in Hollow Man are some of the best seen so far. A variety of techniques keep the effects from getting stale, some of the shots cannot be improved upon and, yes, we really believe there’s an invisible man in the room. This being said, let’s put something else out of the way: Paul Verhoeven isn’t as smart as he thinks he is. No amount of satire-claiming is going to save the exploitative trash that was Starship Troopers, for instance. Similarly, if he here manages about an hour of creepy SF (Verhoeven should stick to straight horror; it’s what he does best), Hollow Man becomes increasingly moronic as it transforms itself into full slasher film mode. Probably the most technologically advanced slasher ever, but a slasher nevertheless. You know the drill; monster kills off everyone in a remote area one by one until protagonist and lover triumph over it. No change here, even through the special effects are cool. Hollow Man approaches offensiveness not by its shock killings, but by the contempt it treats its audience, as invisibility is confused with invincibility and stupid plot mechanics take over plausibility. You ask me, and the invisible man should’ve stuck with peeping on naked models; I would’ve rather seen that than what may have been the 664th slasher/monster film of my life.

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