SPOILER ALERT !!
Hey folks, Harry here… I feel it’s my duty to bring this Vern review – as I was amongst the first to herald the genius of Paul Verhoeven’s HOLLOW MAN… sadly the version I saw well in advance of the release of that film is not the film that everyone else saw. I still like the one that was released, but no where near the longer edit which I feel was far far better. Well here’s Vern with a look at the much needed sequel! Here ya go…
Like most DTV sequels, the title HOLLOW MAN II immediately brings up a question: who the fuck are they making HOLLOW MAN II for?
Well in this particular case, I am gonna have to step forward. I am the guilty party. They are clearly making this movie for me, and I can prove it.
Exhibit A: I am the only recorded case (Click Here) of a person who enjoyed THE HOLLOW MAN in the first place. The HM2 packaging describes it as a “sequel to the $73 million box office hit,” but let’s be honest here. Buying a ticket does not equal getting your money’s worth. I have never met another person who enjoyed this movie. I stand alone on this one.
Exhibit B: I am also one of the rare individuals who watches DTV sequels. I mean there’s a few of us out there and we’ll pop up in the talkback. But we are a minority in this world. DTV sequels are really designed to sit on the shelves at Blockbuster. They don’t have to ever rent, they just have to be bought by the chain in the first place.
Exhibit C: To sweeten the pie for me, they made this one take place in my home town of Seattle. “Hey Vern, remember that movie that only you liked? Well we made a DIRECT TO VIDEO SEQUEL to it. And it takes place in SEATTLE. There’s a couple shots of the Space Needle and everything. The hero wears a Mariner’s hat in one part.” I would feel guilty if I didn’t watch this movie because they obviously worked hard to please me.
Unfortunately, HOLLOW MAN II also follows in another grand DTV tradition. It’s a dumb enough idea to draw me in but not dumb enough to be very enjoyable. This is of the competently made variety, it’s actually not that bad, but it’s obviously cheap compared to the original and devoid of the crazy perverted Verhoeven touch. (Original HOLLOW MAN director Verhoeven is credited as executive producer, which probaly just means they called him up and he answered.)
The movie opens with an invisible attack at some kind of rich person’s charity ball or something. A drunken doctor gets beaten by an invisible Christian Slater in front of everybody, then dragged to the bathroom and slashed to death with the inside of a cell phone. These type of scenes are the only really enjoyable parts of the movie, even though they’re all gimmick and not all that original. It’s still kind of fun to see somebody get dangled out a window by an invisible man and that kind of thing.
Early on the movie promises to have the same kind of horrible dialogue as the original, but it only has a few keepers. Invisible Christian Slater gets to say, “Don’t tell anyone I was here. You never saw me.” (Which is not only a bad play on words but is kind of pointless since he kills the guy he says it to.) Also there’s a part where a guy says, “You’ve got an invisible assassin out there fighting his own war,” which I’m guessing will be in the trailer that you’ll see before that Van Damme movie SECOND IN COMMAND.
Oh yeah, and in the same scene there’s the line, “Griffin’s always operated on the edge of anarchy. When he goes into combat he goes deep, he goes black.”
Anyway, enough about corny dialogue. When two detectives from the Seattle PD (Peter Facinelli and some lady) show up they learn that the dead doctor worked for Reisen, “a think tank over in Redmond.”
“And on occasion we do… more than think,” says the company’s namesake.
The “more than thinking” they’re doing is of course turning people invisibile, continuing the experiments of Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Caine character from part one. A wacky scientist in that movie worried what would happen when the military started messing with invisibility, and this is it. Christian Slater, it turns out, is a special ops soldier that would’ve been court martialed for war crimes in Iraq but he saved his ass by volunteering to become an invisible assassin.
They used him to murder their political enemies, and then he just started killing other people. That might be to cover his tracks or it might be for fun, the characters don’t seem to agree. He killed the doctor to find out the name of scientist Maggie Dalton (Laura Regan), who we find out in a flashback he already knew the name of. I guess he’s stalking her so he can force her to give him the “buffer” that will keep him alive, which is what she intended to do in the first place. Slater also mentions “finishing the mission,” which I guess means just continuing the killing spree. The truth is, it’s hard to really ascertain the motives of these hollow men. All we really know about them is they like to show off by stepping in puddles or running around in the rain or getting blood splattered on them. It would be easy to lay low, because nobody’s looking for a hollow man most of the time. But no, they gotta make footprints in the grass and splash people with their coffee and jump through glass and shit like that. When invisible Christian Slater happens to be in the room with some teenagers making a sex tape and gets spotted on their nightvision, he gratuitously walks past the camera 3 or 4 times. When he attempts an invisible kidnapping he can’t just be quiet, he yells out “GOTCHA!” I guess they get so tired of not being noticed that they overcompensate.
Facinelli is the hero, he protects the scientist from Christian Slater and then sneaks her out of the holding cell and keeps her away from the other cops (since they’re helping cover the Pentagon’s ass). At one point they do the old kissing routine where a cop is driving by shining a light so he grabs her and kisses her. Now, I’m never gonna be a cop, but if I was, I think I would just drive around looking for people who are kissing. Those are obviously the guilty ones. Even regular citizens need to look out for that trick. I mean, if the joggers in RAISING CAINE (Click Here) checked and saw that John Lithgow was kissing a woman he just choloroformed, that would’ve saved lives. Anyway, the cop and the scientist run around trying not to get killed and uncovering the secrets of the nefarious Pentagon and Redmond think tank fuckers that are doing all this invisible stuff.
By the way, Seattle actually has quite a history of dangerous scientific tinkering. The guy who invented the super-intelligent fighter jet in STEALTH (Click Here) was based here, and so was the kid from WARGAMES. So it’s not that surprising that Sebastian Caine’s crazy invisibility project is set up in the area. Unfortunately, I don’t think the movie itself was shot here. There’s a couple helicopter shots of downtown but I didn’t recognize any actual Seattle streets. Somebody let me know if I’m wrong but I’m guessing it’s really shot in Vancouver like everything else.
Slater was Hollow Man #3. #2 we meet later, he is Good Guy Hollow Man. The first time we find out about him, he’s in an elevator talking to a blind lady. Ha ha, she’ll never know. But in his next scene he’s not invisible. Apparently after you’ve been invisible for a while you start to get multiple rare forms of cancer and your face turns all mutated and you turn “more visible.” So this guy has some special effects makeup on but he’s the least impressive invisible man you’ve ever seen, since he’s not invisible.
But never fear, Facinelli decides to inject himself and turn invisible, so we do get some invisible man on invisible man action. In part one Phil Tippet’s boys came up with an invisible man in the rain. The poor suckers who had to take over with a way lower budget for the sequel had to top that so they give us TWO invisible men in the rain. TWICE THE THRILLS. TWICE THE TERROR. (as it says on the back of the screener.) The effects obviously aren’t as impressive as in part 1 but they do come up with some pretty good gimmicks, like Slater gets stabbed by a pen and you see the ink going through his invisible veins.
But sadly this is more a memoir of invisible men than of hollow men. Kevin Bacon was hollow because they squirted latex on his face so he looked like an empty Michael Meyers mask walking around. Christian Slater does not have the same kind of dedication to being on set, so most of his role is a voiceover. There is one brief flashback where you actually see him, and a couple other scenes where he’s an empty hoodie driving a car and things like that, where maybe it was him, maybe it wasn’t. Maybe the funniest one is near the end where he’s wearing a blue mask over his head and sunglasses. And you have to wonder if he’s really supposed to be wearing a blue mask or if they forgot to do the invisible effects for that scene.
This has above average watchability factor for DTV, but it’s like MIMIC 2 or CUBE 2 or something, you forget it right away. The original HOLLOW MAN was a dumb fucking movie, but it was always eager to go a step further than you expected or to surprise you by showing the invisible man naked or piecing together a gorilla from the inside out or weird ass Paul Verhoeven shit like that. HOLLOW MAN II is more content to just be a normal invisible man thriller with some cheap imitations of the effects from the first one. You take a dumb script and give it the Verhoeven touch, then one person (me) enjoys it. You take a dumb script and just treat it regular, then nobody’s gonna enjoy it that much.
One of the advantages of making a DTV sequel is that you can sequelize a movie nobody wanted to see sequelized, like this one. But another advantage is that nobody watches it, so why don’t they go hog wild? Do something crazy. Come on DTV people, you need some more excitement in these things. The one scene in this movie where I felt like I was seeing something I didn’t expect was a little bit where the scientist has no pants on and she’s being dragged backwards across a pedestrian bridge, wiggling her legs around and screaming “HELP ME!” as innocent bystanders give her a “What the fuck is your problem?” look.
That was a good one. I want more of that.
HOLLOW MAN II comes to DVD on May 23rd. Everybody commit that to memory.
Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/23006
View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback
April 12, 2006, 5:40 p.m. CST
What if they gave a talkback and nobody came?
Would it be invisible?
April 12, 2006, 5:43 p.m. CST
Of all the days to ask such a question Mostholy
…today I discovered such a place… :O
April 12, 2006, 5:46 p.m. CST
hollow man the first? i liked it, too
And have been sharply verbally slapped every time I remind my friends of this.
April 12, 2006, 5:52 p.m. CST
by Capt. Murphy
That is all.
April 12, 2006, 5:54 p.m. CST
by Media Fiend
As a DTV sequel loser myself(I have ALL the TREMORS on DVD) I will definitely rent this. But I defy it to be as cheesalicious as TIMECOP @: THE BERLIN DECISION.
April 12, 2006, 5:55 p.m. CST
I didn’t hate it but I thought it was stupid.
by Cotton McKnight
I don’t even remember if I paid 7 dollars to see it or if I rented it, and usually I remember those things pretty well. Either way, I didn’t feel cheated out of my money watching it, but it was disappointing. They need to make a good invisible man movie one of these days.
April 12, 2006, 6:03 p.m. CST
Filmed in Vancouver
I assume someone buys sunglasses in this film, as I took a picture of a sunglasses stand for the film about 6 months ago.
April 12, 2006, 6:06 p.m. CST
There is no amount of pain…
… that Vern won’t put himself through.
April 12, 2006, 6:12 p.m. CST
I liked Hollow Man, BUT…..
by Cletus Van Damme
…could’ve done w/o seeing “The Bacon Maker” danging in a scene.
April 12, 2006, 6:16 p.m. CST
I’m with you Vern
If you have to make a DTV sequel, why not go totally batshit? The closest sequel like that I can think of is Ginger Snaps 3, which was marketing to that 16-year-old girl who loves western stories niche. But even that was kind of pulled off well, and consequently not insane. I’d love to make the DTV sequel to, I dunno, The English Patient or something and totally go nuts with it, burn victim in Hiroshima hospital gets superpowers and decides to track down the bastards who spilled soup on his dinner jacket, killing them in the poses of rare Italian frescoes of St. Sebastian.
April 12, 2006, 6:17 p.m. CST
Slater needs a career resurrection
The guy kicks ass, and is awesome as McMurphy in London’s ‘Cuckoo’s nest’ show, but he needs a movie comeback – BIGTIME!
Someone dump him in Grind House or a Sin City or something.
April 12, 2006, 6:19 p.m. CST
DTV is waaaay too mild mannered these days
by Neo Zeed
They need to be more stupid to be any fun. Did anyone see C. Thomas Howell in the DTV movie The Sweeper? He flicked a lit cigarette on a gangster doused in Gasoline, have the guy chase him out of a window on fire..they both fall out..land through the roof of a van (!), and C. runs out of the back while limping…before the van explodes. You don’t get that kinda goofy action anymore. By the way, I finally saw Wake of Death with Van Damme. It sucked (duh!), but Van Damme had a good performance. It had a decent knife fight but certainly no Under Siege (or 2 for that matter).. Thanks Vern for the review and good job reviewing the DTV flicks. My favorite DTV action flick is Zero Tolerance with Robert Patrick by the way. Classic, goofy non stop action.PS I try to avoid DTV sequels to mainstream films, although the Substitute 2 might be better than the original (or suck less..whatever you guys prefer.)
April 12, 2006, 6:46 p.m. CST
“Hollow Man” was waaaaay too short
by Drunken Rage
and waaaaaay too nice. It should have been much rougher and had a lot more nudity. I know I could just get on imdb and find out the running time, but what was it? 80 minutes? They must have cut the hell out of it for the American release.
April 12, 2006, 6:46 p.m. CST
they set off the sprinkler system in hollowman 1 just so you could see the invisible man.
April 12, 2006, 6:56 p.m. CST
i was in the Full Mon fanclub (speaking of DTV)
and it was due to charlie spradling.
April 12, 2006, 7:06 p.m. CST
DEEP BLUE SEA 2 not too far behind!!!
If THE HOLLOW MAN II can be made DEEP BLUE SEA II (DEEP RED SEA) will not be too far behind. I also hate DTV sequels to mainstream movies. Maybe BASIC INSTINCT 2 should have gone direct-to-video/dvd with its 5 million domestic gross. Too bad Van Damme and Segal can only get work from DTV movies (can’t believe Christain Slater does films like this)! Stallone only ever had one of his films go direct-to-video (the god aweful AVENGING ANGELO) and will never let that happen again! Both SHADE (really good film) and EYE SEE YOU a.k.a. D-TOX had limited platform releases. Schwarzenegger never had one of his films go this route although THE 6TH DAY seemed like it was made for DTV with the quality of the production. Thank god Sly and Arnold have ROCKY BALBOA, RAMBO IV, TERMINATOR 4 and perhaps TRUE LIES 2 and the next couple CONAN films to fall back on! 20 million dollar a movie actors can’t afford to go DIRECT-TO-VIDEO/DVD!!!
April 12, 2006, 8:15 p.m. CST
Other DTV sequels we can expect to see soon:
Wrong Turn 2, Dr. Doolittle 3, Like Mike 2, Behind Enemy Lines 2, Sandlot 3, Bachelor Party 2, House Party 5, The Butterfly Effect 2, FX 3, Creepshow 3, American Psycho 3, Bring It On 3, Save The Last Dance 2, Walking Tall 2 & 3, Roadhouse 2, Wargames 2, Undisputed 2, 8 Seconds 2, Beethoven’s 6th, Pumpkinhead 3 & 4, I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer… It’s reached the point that somebody has even been enterprising enough to create a website devoted to nothing but DTV sequels to Hollywood films – http://www.dvdsequels.com
April 12, 2006, 8:31 p.m. CST
TheFoywonder..They’re actually making Butterfy Effect 2
but I don’t know if it’s going to be DTV or theatrical release
April 12, 2006, 8:35 p.m. CST
Where’s Vern’s “Mercenary of Justice” Review,New Seagal
It’s coming out next week, I don’t remember ever seeing a review for it.
April 12, 2006, 9:08 p.m. CST
torpor_haze – I wasn’t joking about that list.
All of those I listed are legit straight-to-DVD sequels that have been announced and have either already been filmed and awaiting release or are in some stage of pre-production. Scary, huh?
April 12, 2006, 9:24 p.m. CST
I call BULLSHIT on Harry!!!
Way to backpedal Harry. Hollow Man was shit. No two ways around it.
April 12, 2006, 9:45 p.m. CST
hollow man was HORRID….VERY HORRIBLE
April 12, 2006, 9:49 p.m. CST
So where are the invisible women? Part 3 – Hollow Woman
Invisible Women have the advantage that you can do more inventive special effects with them, like putting on makeup, earings, bra’s, panties, stockings, maxipads. well not that, but hahaha. Invisible people movies are wacky in general.
April 12, 2006, 10 p.m. CST
Dr. Doolittle 3 is already on DTV in Australia
Haven’t seen it and never want to (as the first two were crap), but Dr. Doolittle 3 is out on DVD in Australia. It features the daughter of Eddie Murphy’s character, who’s a now a vet that also talks to animals.
April 12, 2006, 10:04 p.m. CST
I’m with you about Charlie Spradling. Why isn’t Ski School on dvd? And why didn’t I buy the Puppet Master box Set while it was out? Damnit.
April 12, 2006, 10:05 p.m. CST
Hollow Man wasn’t horrible.
by Osmosis Jones
The first two thirds of that movie are actually pretty damn good. Bacon is great, the visual effects are astonishing (ROBBED at the Oscars that year for the shiny Playstation crap CGI of Gladiator), Jerry Goldsmith’s score is brilliant, and we got to see naked boobies getting fondled (“Only *you* could possibly be saying that, Paul. ‘The real breat was replaced by the digital breast…'”). It was only when the Friday The 13th finale started up that the film started to go down the crapper. Okay, we have an invisible man who keeps SNEAKING UP BEHIND PEOPLE. Also one who can completely wipe off a bag of sticky blood within 30 seconds without the benefit of a shower. And one who can pick up a 250 pound man by the neck and throw him around like a rag doll. Still, Hollow Man is still watchable trash cinema.
April 12, 2006, 11:59 p.m. CST
Hollow man, Blablah WTF Happened to Christian Slater??
Holy Hell, the guy starred in some of the greatest movies of the 80’s and 90’s, inCLUDing the Wonderful, ‘True Romance’ (if you haven’t seen it, dont feel bad, but go Rent it or download it for Christ’s Sake!) and now Slater is getting the decade old sloppy seconds of Kevin Bacon? WTF? WTF? WTF??? I’m fucking confused.
Someone cast this guy in a real goddamn movie.
April 13, 2006, 12:15 a.m. CST
Wait. What? Hollow Man good? Why?Because Paul Verhoveen was the director? Watch Hollow man II? I’m sorry, but- http://www.intellectualpoison.com/Pics/troll.jpg
April 13, 2006, 3:29 a.m. CST
About MERCENARY FOR JUSTICE
Somehow my screener connection failed to get me this one (just like TODAY YOU DIE). I think they’re on to me. So sorry bud, no early review on that one but keep an eye on my sight if you want to see a review, I’ll do one as soon as I can rent it. It’s more painful for me than you, believe me. Also thanks everybody for the comments. I’m gonna look for this ZERO TOLERANCE with Robert Patrick, I hadn’t heard of that one. TIMECOP 2 was bad, I agree, which is too bad because I like Jason Scott Lee and the premise was actually pretty smart. And Megamax, I would definitely watch your English Patient 2 (English Patient: Resurrection would be a good title), although I haven’t seen the first one. The one I always thought would be funny would be Ghost Dog 2 starring Michael Jai White or somebody like that. Billy Blanks, maybe. And they make it a martial arts movie. (Of course I’d rather see Jarmusch do a theatrical half-sequel when the little girl is grown up and now she’s a samurai. Then they could do a spin-off where she fights Vernita Green’s daughter from the future Kill Bill sequel and then the winner of that one goes against Freddy or Predator or somebody.)
April 13, 2006, 5 a.m. CST
No rape scene?
Every Verhoven film has a rape scene (or attempted rape), sad that HM 1 decided to edit it out to make Bacon’s character seem more sympathetic. Yes I know Verhoven didn’t direct this film. But if you’re going to DTV the least you could do is do what you didn’t do in the first film.
Actually this sounds very much like a crazy invisible man script I read in the late 80’s. Does this one have the Hollow Man go into the scientist lady’s shower and confront her with a big wet invisible smile? Because thats the only scene I remember reading from the script.
April 13, 2006, 5:09 a.m. CST
it was called memoirs of an invisble man. ; )
April 13, 2006, 6:02 a.m. CST
Hollow Man was a satisfactory pastiche of Wells.
Ergo, it was enjoyable, and I enjoyed it earlier than thou.
As for the pseudosequel, however, I expect the full quality force of such classics as “The Hitcher II: I’m Still Waiting”.
April 13, 2006, 7:38 a.m. CST
Vern, i reckon you could sell me a piece of runny turd
I love the original Hollow Man btw.
April 13, 2006, 8 a.m. CST
Well done Vern…
Took another hit for the team. And Christian Slater, what the hell are you doing man?! Yo were in some great movies, why are you slumming it in DTV Hell? Remember playing ‘Easily Fooled Security Guard’ in the first Austin Powers movie? Try and recapture that essence and you will be a star again!
April 13, 2006, 9:36 a.m. CST
Once you go black…
you never go back.
April 13, 2006, 10:18 a.m. CST
Brodester you come to THIS talkback, and call US nerds?
Hi pot, this is kettle. FYI dummy – if you post on AICN, you are a nerd (or at least a geek). Embrace it. But stop with the name calling. This isn’t seventh grade, and you are NOT the cool kid. Oh, and I thought Hollow Man was awful Really awful. And yet I’ve seen it five times. Puzzling, really.
April 13, 2006, 11:01 a.m. CST
Is Christian Slater ever seen in this movie
or is it all voice-over? Also, if your eyes are invisible, and light passes through them, how do you see?
April 13, 2006, 11:43 a.m. CST
I don’t need 6 degrees to connect Kevin Bacon to Shit..
Thanks to Hollow Man. Anyhoo, for crazy DTV offerings, just think of what Disney’s cooking up: Bambi 3, Cinderella 3… I’m pretty sure that if Disney had done an animated movie about Christ, they’d have a DTV sequel: “Jesus Christ 2: Second Coming” where he comes back, makes friends with a sassy talking street-dog and a bunch of singing birds, and helps save the the pet sheltered from being bulldozed by the crazy Godless developer. Praise Jesus!
April 13, 2006, 1:21 p.m. CST
Foywonder and Vern
by Mr Brownstone
I love em both. alas I was one of the “gifted” few who dug Hollow Man. Altough it only gets 4/5 stars because Elizabeth Shue doesn’t get killed in the end. I always thought they should have had Hollowman live in the end so this DTV sequel could have “starred” a guy doing a Kevin Bacon impression.
April 13, 2006, 1:26 p.m. CST
I always wondered
by Monkey Butler
What the fuck does this movie have to do with the TS Eliot poem? Sure, it’s a cool title, but did the producers even read the thing?
April 13, 2006, 1:55 p.m. CST
More DTV sequel ideas
How about The Stuff 2, a DTV sequel to that nice piece of cheese from the 80’s. The tagline: Get Stuffed All Over Again. Or maybe DTV sequels to popukar books. Like Cell 2: Ringtone from Hell. Or a sequel to Da Vinci Code. Maybe call it The Andy Warhol Codex.
April 13, 2006, 3:01 p.m. CST
I always get more than disturbed
When I watch hollow man. Just not a good movie at all. I get a bad feeling in my stomach whenever I see it on tv. Lol, deep blue sea 2. I hope not. Did anyone else think deep blue sea looked awesome from the previews? Honestly, that was one of the most disappointing movies I’ve ever seen, and it came out….what…7 years ago?
April 13, 2006, 3:32 p.m. CST
Jesus Fucking Christ
Hollow Man was utter crap. A Hollow Man 2 is even more crap. Who the hell produces bullshit like this ?
April 13, 2006, 3:35 p.m. CST
Yeah, next they’ll probably come out with “Basic Instinct 2” and try to pass off an over-the-hill Sharon Stone as sexy… Oh wait…
April 13, 2006, 4:32 p.m. CST
Don’t forget Undisputed 2 is coming out soon..
by Neo Zeed
It’s one of those deals where it’s the same premise, except they’ve switched from boxing to kickboxing..I saw the trailer online. Pretty good kicks for DTV. Prison flick + Michael Jai White+ kickboxing? Should be a gas…PS I whenever possible I prefer my DTV sequels to retain continuity. Kickboxer 2 (written by Goyer BTW) at least had his brother avenge Van Damme’s death..
April 14, 2006, 2:17 p.m. CST
“memoirs of an invisble man”
Is a good movie” and it’s an even better novel, if you can find a copy.
April 14, 2006, 3:22 p.m. CST
funny review. heh.
by The Atomic Worm
Oct. 22, 2007, 5:09 a.m. CST
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.