Hollow Man

Bomb Rating: 

Kevin Bacon stars in a movie, and suddenly I start to see all sorts of weird connections pop up in films released the same week. First, there's William Devane, who's in both this film and "Space Cowboys," and who seems to think that good acting involves gritting one's teeth. Then there's the fact that, despite its curious omission in the production notes, director Paul Verhoeven directed "Showgirls." Of course, its bastard stepchild, "Coyote Ugly," opens the same week. Then there's the startling third coincidence between all these films -- they suck.

I'd like to begin this review in earnest by making a humble suggestion to filmmakers: If you're going to cast Elisabeth Shue in the role of the brilliant scientist, please also allow her to fire molten gold from her nipples and fart bubbles which each bear a tiny etching of a Toulouse-Lautrec painting, because it'll allow my brain to get over the hump of that whole "scientist" idea. I know she was accepted to Harvard and all, but she's still working on the degree and it's probably in Theater anyway, which explains why she doesn't have it yet.

Shue's character, brilliant scientist Linda McKay, works with the brilliant Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) in developing the ability to make animals invisible. Caine tests the process on himself, becomes invisible, then likes it so much he starts killing fellow scientists when they threaten to reveal him to the government officials sponsoring the project.

This film goes in two completely different directions. Given that Verhoeven has the good taste of a drunk frat boy in a strip club, you can guess the first, which features Caine fondling the breast of one of his coworkers while she sleeps, and skulking about the apartment of a hot neighbor. The end of the movie is like watching the last five minutes of "Die Hard" drag on for thirty minutes as Caine, in the Alexander Godunov role, keeps returning from the dead. Apparently the whole invisibility thing means burning doesn't hurt, you're immune to electrocution, and being hit with a crow bar just makes you woozy for a few moments. The end result is little more than another Hollywood smoke job, a glitzy wrapper of special effects concealing a dried out turd of a story.

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