Am I making myself clear?
Hollow Man
Review by Ross Anthony

The opening credits spill out like some kind of genetic alphabet soup. An appropriate and impressive preface for the subject matter.

The graphics rock. Vein by vein, corpuscle by corpuscle, these primates (including Bacon) disappear and reappear, be sure to bring your pre-med hopefuls for the visual anatomy lesson. Savagely haunting. The animals reappear arteries first, then bone structure, then muscle tissue, then skin. All the while thrashing about in pain while live-action humans scurry about the research center. Nicely done.

Director Verhoeven (of "Robocop" and "Total Recall" to name just a few) quips, "One of our technical advisors was three or four hundred years old." That's because Verhoeven and crew Hollow Manstudied the anatomically-correct, skinless figures create by a 16th century woman whose works are displayed in Florence, Italy.

In order to enable the techies to remove the actor completely from our view, Bacon spent much of his shooting time covered in green, blue or black paint (with matching contact lenses, wig, teeth-covering and skin-tight leotards).

Dr. Sebastion Caine (Bacon) is Hollow-man, infinitely vain and perhaps less than temporally transparent. Unfortunately the dialogue is equally hollow. Contrived banter fills the mouths of our 2-D characters as they play their roles second fiddle to the computer-graphic artists. Even Bacon doesn't break into a real performance until he's hollow.

Scientists commissioned by the Pentagon discover a formula for invisibility as well as its reversion formula. Dr. Caine, leading that project, decides to try the formula on himself, once invisible he takes advantage of the situation and nearby females.

Extremely nice visuals, some good action, silly 1950's creature feature story, decent thriller fun, highlighted by an "adult" Superman joke. Sort of a "Flatliners" -lite.

  • Hollow Man. Copyright © 2000. Rated R.
  • Starring Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue, Josh Brolin, Kim Dickens, Greg Grunberg, Joey Slotnick, Mary Randle, William Devane.
  • Directed by Paul Verhoeven.
  • Screenplay by Andrew W. Marlowe. Story by Gary Scott Thompson and Andrew.
  • Produced by Douglas Wick and Alan Marshall at Columbia Pics.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:08:59 PDT