A gripping thriller that exhibits all of Paul Verhoeven’s misanthropy about human nature and particularly men in positions of power, Hollow Man reimagines H.G. Wells’ classic 1897 novel The Invisible Man as a warning about the dark side of the human psyche.
Kevin Bacon plays Sebastian Caine, a brilliant but arrogant researcher seeking a breakthrough in his quest to discover the secret of invisibility. Having been experimenting on animals, he eventually tests his formula on himself, succeeding in becoming invisible, but having no way to make himself reappear.
What follows is a slow descent into madness and murder, as a game of cat and mouse ensues between Caine and his fellow scientists. Or is it the revelation of a will to violence that has always been there?
Joined by a stellar cast including Elizabeth Shue and Josh Brolin, Hollow Man is another vehicle for Verhoeven’s bleak vision as to what we really want as human beings, and what ends we will pursue when society ceases to hold us back.
A critical failure on release, it was nevertheless a box office success, featuring ground-breaking special effects, a bombastic, claustrophobic ending inside its’ underground lab setting, and several scenes that push the envelope on the boundaries of the mainstream thriller in a way that only Verhoeven can.
This film is screening at Tyneside Cinema as FLESH + BLOOD: THE CINEMA OF PAUL VERHOEVEN which you can learn more about here!