Hollow Man (2000)

hollow man poster 2000 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good visuals for the time

So-so story

Movie Info

Movie Name: Hollow Man

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Genre(s): Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s): August 4, 2000

MPAA Rating: R

hollow man invisible gorilla

Now I kind of want to watch the adventures of the Invisible Gorilla

Dr. Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) is talented and egocentric.  With his team including his former girlfriend Linda McKay (Elisabeth Shue) and Matt Kensington (Josh Brolin), Sebastian is working on a secret formula to turn people invisible.  Sebastian wants to be the first person to receive the treatment, and breaking protocol, he leads to team to do it.  Now, Sebastian isn’t all there and figuratively and mentally…and the danger is growing.

Directed by Paul Verhoeven, Hollow Man is a horror science-fiction film.  The movie was a financial success and received average to negative reviews.  It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.

Hollow Man is just one of those movies I never could get motivated to see.  Even when I got a cheap Blu-Ray copy of the movie and the sequel, it sat on my shelf for a couple years.  I finally watched Hollow Man, and though I admire the special effects (especially for when it was made), the movie is just so-so.

hollow man kevin bacon mask

Whoa…I’m holllow

The film is a riff on H.G. Wells’ 1897 science fiction classic The Invisible Man.  Like in that story, Sebastian is driven mad both by the serum and his ego.  The problem largely is that Sebastian comes off as unbalanced and unlikable through the whole film.  The movie takes a lot to get to the horror and you have little pity for Sebastian (something that often makes a great horror character).  He’s a jerk and is a jerk through the whole thing.  A similar comparison would be Jeff Goldblum’s role in The Fly.  You feel sorry for the character and you don’t want him to meet a bad fate…here, you just want Sebastian to die.

Kevin Bacon plays up Sebastian’s immoral side too much.  He’s leering, cruel, callus, and displays lots of sociopathic tendencies before he gets the serum.  It feels like the movie should have kept Josh Brolin out of the mix since Bacon could have been more sympathetic if he had a relationship with Elisabeth Shue in the context of the story.  The jealous aspect hinders the story more than it helps.  Bacon, Shue, and Brolin are backed up by Kim Dickens, Joey Slotnick, Greg Grunberg, Mary Randle, and William Devane.

hollow man ending water scene

Maybe you should reconsider that crowbar, Kevin Bacon

What does jump out in Hollow Man is the special effects.  It smartly used visuals to build the scares and played with typical “invisible man” style effects.  The disappearance and reappearance of both Sebastian and the gorilla were the showcases, but other sequences involving the pool attack, the blood scene, and the falling water were also strong in their simplicity.  The film still looks rather good, but the advancement of special effects has taken a bit away from it.

Hollow Man is an ok film that could have been a great film with tweaking.  It is too long and meanders along for too much of the script.  It banks too much on an unlikeable lead and misfires in his relationships with the other cast members.  I wish that the story had been streamlined more or the focus of the film adjusted.  Hollow Man was followed by a direct-to-video sequel Hollow Man 2 in 2006.

Related Links:

Hollow Man 2 (2006)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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