Review: Hollow Man 2

Posted by Peter Hall - July 31st 2006 @ 1:54 pm

Directed by Claudio Fäh, 2006

I like the first Hollow Man.  You can stop trusting anything I say about movies from this point on and I would understand, but I’m a sucker for Verhoeven and his silly, but poker faced, blockbusters that don’t bust the block.

So what can you expect from Hollow Man 2, the straight-to-video answer to a sequel no one asked for?  First off, and possibly most indicative of quality, top billing went to Christian Slater.  Second off, instead of Oscar nominated level work, the entire effects department seemed to consist of someone sitting off frame and shooting an Airzooka at people’s hair or clothing whenever Slater’s inviso-self was supposed to be terrorizing the unfortunate cast.  I understand your film didn’t have the same millions and millions of studio green behind it, but wind isn’t scary.  Or threatening.  Or even remotely interesting.

And while the Airzooka technology may be my favorite complaint about the movie, it certainly isn’t the worst.

Joel Soisson’s script has got to be one of the sloppiest, ugliest, hack pieces of writing I’ve ever come across – and I even own Mortal Kombat on DVD.  To touch upon the nudity clause, there is a tiny, wholly irrelevant part of the film where Slater, a crazed soldier who is hollowed out to become the ultimate killer, hides in a neighbors house so he can spy on the house across the street without being seen.  The neighbors are two teens experimenting with a camera, of course, and see him while stripping.  Irregardless of their 8 seconds of nudity, why the fuck is the invisible man hiding in the first place?

Then there’s the fact that nightvision picks up an invisible person.  I don’t need to get into the specifics of how nightvision works, I’m not a fanboy nitpicking the specifics of whether or not warp speed is possible, but how hard is it to write "thermal camera" in the script instead of "night vision".  There is a reason every camera in the original was thermal, because that would actually allow you to see something invisible.  It is a tiny detail, yes, but it’s just one minor example of a script approved by producers who didn’t care, in the least, if the script was coherent on even a minimal level.  I’m not sure which is dumber, this or killing zombies by breaking their necks, a la Paul W. S. Anderson.

The acting is…well…complete junk.  Peter Facinelli will forever be remembered, at least by my generation, as the guy from Can’t Hardly Wait who got dumped by Jennifer Love Hewitt.  He’s not a bad actor at heart, but he’s far from a good one and what he is asked to do here results in a character that is instantly forgotten.  Christian Slater is barely in the movie, and when he is…well, he’s just washed up Christian Slater.

Hollow Man 2 is a pass.  If you do still go to a video store, don’t even bother picking it up to look at it.  If you’re browsing Netflix, don’t bother clicking it.  If you’re at Best Buy and thinking about buying it because you dug Hollow Man, just spend your money on Dead & Breakfast instead.

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  1. Brian
    July 31st, 2006 | 9:45 pm | #1

    The thing that Paul WTF Anderson does is dumber (that is always the answer).
    Also, re: Facinelli, you are absolutely correct.

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    […] is a one-man blog that’s run by one of Cinematical’s regular readers/commenters, Peter Hall (which is how I came across his bloggo in the first place). Full of wonderfully opinionated reviews, helpful DVD buying guides, and tons of random news updates, HND is a best-scenario example of what happens when one articulate horror geek decides to kick-start his own blog. And best of all, Pete’s no fawning fanboy who blindly adores every piece of gore he sees. That kind of stuff gets real old real fast, and he avoids it with an impressive consistency. Check out Hall’s recent reviews of Evil Aliens (Brit indie), Hollow Man 2 (DTV sequel), Monster House (big-budget cartoon) and Strange Sunset (grass-roots mega-indie) to get a taste of the guy’s admirably eclectic perspectives. […]

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