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3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 26 April 2017
Its ok but seen it before on tv and had forgotten
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on 30 January 2017
[MOVIE | 2 out of 5]
Run time: 107:58 mins. PAL | Production: 2000
A BIT HOLLOW ON THE INSIDE.
Paul Verhoeven's golden years are over. They ended with his last great movie TOTAL RECALL (1990), after that came terrible films (SHOWGIRLS, STARSHIP TROOPERS) and mediocrity (HOLLOW MAN), which is a pity, since HOLLOW MAN had potential. Massive potential.
Unfortunately after a strong first half, where a lot of tension is built up, the second half falls flat on its belly and succumbs to being an average slasher film at best with cliches galore. None of the predictable horror film cliches were left out and logic was shoved aside - something very unexpected from Verhoeven.
The characters are stereoptypical, especially Kevin Bacon's character of Sebastian Caine, a genius scientists, but self-absorbed with a God complex. Kim Dickens as the animal lover vet. Elisabeth Shue and Josh Brolin as Bacon's partners in crime till their little secret is revealed...
The characters are not deep at all and just fill in as the stereotypes with names, acting accordingly. HOLLOW MAN is your typical "Mad Scientist" film (like RE-ANIMATOR), it plays out the same, the same things happen and there's nothing new and definitely no surprises. The entire finale is a standard horror film ending that could have been the ending for any of the FRIDAY THE 13TH films with an invisible super Jason.
Logic comes in short supply as well, especially Bacon's character - being invisible he could do literally anything, but that potential is not used. His descent into madness is handled badly, more lost potential, as the film drifts off to be a slasher rather than adding depth to the characters and a better story.
What really is good, are the special effects, which of course in 2017 look a bit dated, but in 2000 were state-of-the-art. Still this is not very much to carry the film beyond 2010, so what is left is an average at best sci-fi-horror thriller with a good start and a very poor finish.

[VIDEO]
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic

[AUDIO]
- English Dolby Digital 5.1

[SUBTITLES]
English, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish +2

[EXTRAS]
- Audio commentary with director Paul Verhoeven, Kevin Bacon and Andrew Marlowe
- Audio commentary with composer Jerry Goldsmith (shared with isolated music score track)
- "Hollow Man: Anatomy of a Thriller" Featurette (15:03)
- Fleshing Out the Hollow Man: Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes, Paul Verhoeven: Hollywood's Mad Scientist (6:47), The Invisibility Formula (5:02), The Muscle Man (5:23), The Human Bubble (3:14), Therman Imaging (1:22), The Smoke Guy (1:40), The Gorilla Suit (1:36), The Mask (2:07), Flaming Sebastian (2:43), Elevator Finale (3:08), Ape Reversion Storyboards with Commentary by Director Paul Verhoeven (2:06), The Underground Lab (1:41), Reversion Progressions with Commentary by Digital Effects Supervisor Scott Stokdyk (0:52), Invisibility Progressions with Commentary by Senior Visual Effects Supervisor Scott E. Anderson (1:20), Digital Body Parts Montage (1:33)
- VFX Picture-in-Picture Comparisons: Cramer's Death (1:03), Sprinkler Attack (0:53), Sebastian's Demise (2:23)
- Deleted Scenes (with Commentary by Director Paul Verhoeven): Was It a Dream? (1:19), Sebastian Attack (1:18), Sebastian on the Prowl (4:47)
- Teaser Trailer (1:42)
- Theatrical Trailer (1:27)
- Talent Profiles: Paul Verhoeven (2 pages), Kevin Bacon (3 pages), Elisabeth Shue (3 pages), Josh Brolin (2 pages)
- 6-Page Booklet
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There are movies that make you feel dirty and miserable, because there is simply nothing there to like -- not characters, plot or even a good feeling.

One good example: "Hollow Man," the loosest possible adaptation of H.G. Wells' classic novel "The Invisible Man"... except that instead of one stupid scientist, we have a whole cast of them. Gratuitous animal-abuse, rape, some great special effects and a despicable cast of annoying characters... well, it's easy to see why Paul Verhoeven hasn't made an American movie since, even if it was very profitable.

A bunch of scientists are working on an invisibility formula for the military, led by the arrogant Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon). When they successfully return a gorilla to visibility (almost killing it in the process), Sebastian decides that it's time for human trials -- and secretly has the team inject HIM with the serum. All seems to be going well... until the reversion therapy fails. Sebastian is stuck until his team finds a cure.

And unfortunately, the serum seems to be making him cruel, violent and psychotic -- he uses his invisibility to spy on his increasingly paranoid team, including his ex-girlfriend Linda (Elisabeth Shue) and her new boyfriend. And to stop the team from warning the military about the danger he poses, he's willing to trap and kill them one by one...

"The Hollow Man" is the loosest possible interpretation of "The Invisible Man" -- the only thing that connects them is an invisibility serum that makes you crazy and evil. But while there was only ONE scientist doing stupid things in H.G. Wells' story, this movie has SEVERAL scientists doing stupid things. A lot of stupid things.

I will say this: the special effects are spectacular, particularly the process of both Sebastian and the gorilla turning invisible and visible again. Almost fifteen years later, they still hold up beautifully -- the dissolves of skin, muscles, veins and bones are almost grotesque in their realism.

Here's what's wrong: EVERYTHING ELSE. The plot is entirely dependent on people doing idiotic things -- the entire premise is that these scientists stupidly decided to secretly start human testing because... well, because Sebastian wants too. No better reason. It's riddled with a thousand tiny holes (a gorilla hits a guy and he doesn't even get bruised!), and the dialogue drips with sleaze. There are a few amusing moments (Sebastian freaking out some kids with his "hollow" face), but the rest of the movie taints them.

It's also painfully obvious from the beginning that Sebastian is going to immediately go evil and develop a god complex. But since Verhoeven is not known for his subtlety, this is expressed by him beating animals to death and making comments so obviously psychopathic that I'm surprised he didn't go "Mwahahahahaha!" at the end of every sentence.

And there's an ugly streak of misogyny that runs through the movie like a stream of fetid excrement -- and the brutal rape scene is only the most obvious example, especially since we never see that poor woman again. She is literally there just to be leered at and raped. If it were just Sebastian, that would be okay, but the hostile yet voyeuristic attitude seems to permeate the entire film.

I think it's the movie's intention to make us hate Sebastian, which is a massive mistake -- Kevin Bacon is easily a good enough actor to bring dimension to the arrogant, callous Sebastian, and evoke some kind of sympathy for him. We should feel somewhat sorry for a man going mad. Except Verhoeven makes you hate him from the beginning, and makes it clear that there is no good in this man, so he ends up basically being a less witty, less visible Freddy Krueger.

The sad thing is that the primary concept of "Hollow Man" is a good one, but the ugly, sleazy way it's presented just squanders it. Even Kevin Bacon can't save this turkey.
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on 25 April 2001
The saving point of Hollow Man is Kevin Bacon - even though you only see him for about 20 minutes - he really comes into his own and gets right under the skin of his character. The special effects are very impressive and are pretty much flawless. The downfall with this movie is that it seems to drag on during the last 30 minutes and it get's worst ever time you watch it. That said it is very entertaining and one to see although I would recommend renting rather than buying.
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on 7 May 2011
The US military wants to discover a way of turning people invisible, and then back to visible. The research team is led by a brilliant but very arrogant Sebastian Caine. They have been experimenting with animals so far, and it would appear that making them invisible is much easier than the reverse. In the early minutes of the movie, though, the problem of reversal is solved and we get to see the first successful experiment with turning an invisible ape visible. After several other such successes, Dr. Caine decides to become the first human test subject, only to discover three days later that the reversal method that worked on apes wouldn't work on a human. The team is doing their best to come up with a cure, but the waiting makes Sebastian so frustrated that he decides to go out. As you can guess, one can pull off quite amazing stuff when invisible. (Fortunately, the climate there is so warm that one can afford to run around naked.) In spite of Sebastian's nasty character, I could totally sympathise with him, but it was obvious that the authors of the movie wanted me to hold him for the incarnation of evil. They didn't succeed. I would have done pretty much the same things he did - if I'd had such opportunities and his skills.

This movie has the best visual effects I've ever seen. Even the exhilarating "Walking with Dinosaurs" is visibly inferior. From the negative side, the characters make a couple really stupid things, but I guess they were necessary, otherwise the plot would have been too straightforward to be exciting.

The ending, though, could have hardly been less believable. Both sides were doing things that were screamingly impossible. On some moments that apparently were supposed to be the most dramatical, I couldn't help laughing. Severely wounded starting to climb ladders, the burned-to-death suddenly standing up and fighting - the farce that goes on in this movie's last 15 minutes is far less realistic than "Get Smart". Indeed, I found myself wondering if this was supposed to be a parody, but I think they were actually serious about all that nonsense.

You should also be warned that there are different versions of this movie. The one with the length 1:54:26 seems to be the real one. The version that is 2 minutes shorter (1:52:38) has some short but very important bits cut out. That kind of self-censorship is quite pathetic. You should absolutely make sure you're getting the longer version.

All in all, skipping the last 16 or so minutes, the movie is excellent and enjoyable to re-watch.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 April 2015
*** This review may contain spoilers **

Kevin Bacon stars as Sebastian Caine, a scientist working with a diverse crew in an underground laboratory on a military project. The goal: to achieve the power of invisibility, as well as the ability to return to a visible state. Caine, being the egotistical hothead that he is, performs the procedure on himself, but finds he is unable to return to his human state. With Caine growing more and more insane, the rest of the crew try to find a way to revert him back to his normal state, not knowing Caine is beginning to prefer his invisibility and will do anything to keep it.

The first half-hour of Hollow Man is the best, when we're introduced to these wow-inducing, eye-popping visual effects. This is also the point where the story holds the most potential, before devolving into B-grade land. Now, most people seem to agree that the film would have worked a lot better if it had focused on Bacon brandishing his invisibility on the outside world, and there is a ten-minute segment where he does do this, but it's also arguably the film's worst part.

The last half-hour is essentially Caine going around, knocking off all the lab workers, and while it's uninspired material, it's still rather exciting to watch. But by the time it's all over, though I found myself mildly entertained I just think this movie could of been done better.6.5/10
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It was the film that convinced director Paul Verhoeven to leave Hollywood and take a break from film making. His reasoning being that any Hollywood director could have made Hollow Man, a big effects led movie that made a lot of cash at the box office. It's this that is the main problem with the picture, it lacks some of the director's bite and satirical savagery, even the souped up sex (natural or deviant) that often comes with his productions. Yet devoid of expectations of a Verhoeven masterpiece, and the crushing realisation that it basically wastes its potential and plays out as a haunted house stalk movie - it's a good energetic popcorner.

It quickly becomes obvious that we are entering special effects extravaganza, the opening credits are dynamite, sci-fi sexy, then the opening gambit sequence literally grabs us and a rodent by the throat. From here on in we are treated to grade "A" effects and some genius ways of exposing "the invisible" Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) to us and the prey he soon comes to hunt. Unfortunately the whole cast performances are a much of a muchness, and playing a roll call of sci-fi stereotypes. All involved here have done much better work in their sleep, but they put the bums on theatre seats and ultimately this works as one of those movies designed to thrill and awe the senses - but not the brain. 6.5/10
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on 8 March 2009
This movie has always attracted rather negative reviews, mainly due to the classic Hollywood-style "Halloween"-like ending, where the Hollow Man suddenly turns into the "Fireproof, Self-cleaning, Concussion-resistant, More-lives-than-a-videogame Berserk Man"; not to mention the overuse of the "horror movie logic", demanding that large groups of armed "heroes", easily capable of overwhelming even an invisible Alien, invariably end up splitting themselves in groups of maximum 2 people, always cornering themselves in tight quarters and dead ends, where they can be conveniently slaughtered by the villain with his/her/its bare hands/claws/appendages...
Nevertheless, if you are willing to accept this uttermost suspension of disbelief (which is almost always required before seeing ANY movie of this kind) and you just concentrate on more "technical" aspects, like a constantly growing pace and tension in the screenplay, top notch visual effects (for the times) and sound editing, convincing acting (see the funny "making of" part regarding the _very_ specific acting directions the actors were given from the director...), great cinematography, and a SUPERB, tension-rising, spine-chilling score by the late Jerry Goldsmith, (which was worth the admission ticket alone), you might be surprised at how _entertaining_ and actually _good_ this unpretentious sci-fi/horror/thriller can be (in my opinion, at least...).
That said, for the fans of this movie, the video and audio quality of this Blu-Ray version are among the highest I have experienced so far: the image is perfectly clean, with incredible sharpness and contrast, and only a negligible amount of grain (which is a nice surprise, considered that the movie was shot nine years ago). Actually, the images are SO detailed, that in some scenes you can even spot the slight separation between CGI FX and the actual film plates (e.g. the hand of Elisabeth Shue on the digital gorilla fur in one of the first scenes).
The audio, available also in uncompressed PCM, is absolutely astounding, with great separation, power and clarity of surround channels in sound effects (the explosion at 1h:41m is a perfect test for your speakers, your windows and the patience of your wife/neighbors!) and a perfect balance of the haunting, frightening Goldsmith's score.
The only negative point of this release, in my opinion, is that it lacks both commentaries from the director Verhoeven and Jerry Goldsmith himself (a rarity for his fans) which were included on the DVD version, hence the missing star. On the other hand, this version includes some minor cuts that were absent in the standard edition.
Recommended at this price, even just as test disc for your audio/video system. (Even more recommended is the music score on CD, maybe the last "classic" that Jerry Goldsmith left to his fans!) Hollow Man
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on 16 March 2001
Hollow Man could have been an excellant film, if it wasn't so predictable. Too many obvious mistakes (the electrocution scene!!??!!) and no real passion or spark. Ok if you're willing to sit back and just enjoy the special effects.
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on 26 July 2013
Paul Verhoeven has made some great films. Robocop and Total Recall, for instance, are classic sci-fis. Hollow Man, however, doesn't place anywhere near them. Verhoeven, a master of visual gimmickry, provides stunning effects, but the screenplay's a shallow mishmash of sleazy 80s slasher and boring 90s action. It uses standard thriller techniques but doesn't shock or scare because its characters are cardboard cut-outs. During its third act it becomes a typical survival story, where people are picked off with numbing regularity, before an absurd action climax that makes it look like a lesser Die Hard sequel.

Kevin Bacon plays Dr. Sebastian Caine, a narcissistic military scientist who's invented an invisibility formula which he tests on animals. Working alongside him is his ex, Dr. Linda McKay (Elisabeth Shue), and her current boyfriend, Dr. Matthew Kensington (Josh Brolin); Caine is unaware of their relationship. Caine persuades his team to test the formula on him, but then they can't figure out how to make him visible again. What's more, his mind starts deteriorating until he becomes a violent predator who uses his invisibility to wreak havoc.

A big weakness in Hollow Man is characterisation, or lack thereof. Only Caine, McKay and Kensington are developed at all, and even then just enough to motivate their actions. We get that Caine still likes McKay, who now loves Kensington, who's rivals with Caine, and not much else. The love triangle is perfunctory, as without it there would be no plot, just an invisible man going nuts for no reason (which might have been more entertaining). The other scientists are a hand-wringing vet (Kim Dickens), a slacker-ish guy (Greg Grunberg), and two people with no personalities whatsoever (Joey Slotnick and Mary Randle). I'd guess that Slotnick is meant to be a nerd and Randle a cool chick, but I'm basing that mostly on how they dressed. These people are so thinly drawn they don't even rise to the level of cliches. William Devane plays a military scientist; like the aforementioned love triangle, this character is perfunctory: he represents Caine's impatient employers. The acting is fine, though amateurs who've never emoted a line before could play these roles. Caine really is a waste of Bacon; you might as well pay Jack Nicholson to play Jason Voorhees.

The special effects, as I've suggested, are amazing, even thirteen years later. They're the most creative and intelligent things in the film, and almost make it worth buying. The transitions from in- to visibility are extraordinary; we see a gorilla's blood show as hovering red trails forging pathways through its transparent veins, then muscles and flesh materialise from thin air. I also liked the various ways that Caine is made visible, which include steam, water and blood. The point-of view scenes where Caine tracks his victims, meanwhile, were an amusing throwback to stalk'n'slash films. Hollow Man is a dull story about non-entities, but it looks great.
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