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Hollow Man [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue, Josh Brolin, Kim Dickens, Greg Grunberg
  • Directors: Paul Verhoeven
  • Writers: Andrew W. Marlowe, Gary Scott Thompson
  • Producers: Alan Marshall, Douglas Wick, Kenneth J. Silverstein, Marion Rosenberg, Stacy Lumbrezer
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (316 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005O5A3
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #835,707 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

After years of experimentation, Dr. Sebastian Caine, a brilliant but arrogant and egotistical scientist working for the Defense Department, has successfully transformed mammals to an invisible state and brought them back to their original physical form. Determined to achieve the ultimate breakthrough, Caine instructs his team to move on to Phase III: human experimentation. Using himself as the first subject, the invisible Caine finds himself free to do the unthinkable. But Caine's experiment takes an unexpected turn when his team can't bring him back. As the days pass, he grows more and more out of control, doomed to a future without flesh as the Hollow Man. Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue and Josh Brolin star in this intense thriller filled with extreme suspense, terrifying twists and incredible special effects.

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brittney Bush on March 17, 2001
Format: DVD
This film's strength is neither the special effects nor the action sequences, but rather the time it spends exploring the psychological realm: anger, jealousy, and of course, what you would do if you never had to look at yourself in the mirror.
Kevin Bacon plays Sebastian Caine, an egotistical scientist who is leading a government-funded project on invisibility. Caine is so determined to make his project work that he sidesteps Pentagon authorization and brashly makes himself the study's first human test subject.
Trouble arises with the invisibility antidote, however, and Caine is unable to regain opacity. This turn of events, and his subsequent extended confinement to his underground lab, quickly bring out the dark side of Caine's megalomaniac personality. He begins to vent his emotions in most unhealthy ways, violently seeking outlets for his bitterness over a recent split with his girlfriend, his jealousy and rage towards her new lover, and his obsession with the female neighbor he watches through his window. Drawing on the premise that invisibility eliminates feelings of guilt, Hollow Man has Sebastian become a very, very bad man.
The dilemma, of course, lies in how to stop him: what do you do to defend yourself against a man that you can't even see? The situation is resolved, but not before Caine creates an enormous bloodbath, and unfortunately not before I began to lose interest in the film. Near its end, Hollow Man begins to transform into a fairly rote action movie, complete with fireballs and (spoiler alert!) a dramatic escape through an unstable elevator shaft. Trust me, you've seen it all before.
One advantage of the DVD format is that the discriminating viewer can skip fairly directly to the middle of the movie, which is where the psychologically-driven sequences lie and is the part worth watching. The rest, honestly, is rather hollow.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John on November 14, 2003
Format: DVD
Paul Verhoeven directed "RoboCop" (1987), "Total Recall" (1990), and "Basic Instinct" (1992). His films all have a hard edge. "Hollow Man" has the edge. It's lacking the brains and heart of the others.
Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) is a brilliant scientist in charge of a US Government-funded underground facility investigating into invisibility serums. They have the ability to turn animals invisible, but up until now there has been no way to reverse it. Now, Sebastian has found a reversal formula, and it works.
Sebastian, afraid his research will be stolen away from him, keeps all records of progress from the military. He is obsessed with power and he doesn't know what to do now that it's all over. ("It feels like the beginning of the end," he says.) And so without asking for permission from his funding, Sebastian becomes the first human to turn invisible to the naked eye - the only thing that can pick up his traces are heat goggles that look like something out of a science fiction movie. Oh, wait...
The serum starts to take a deadly turn, however, when Sebastian feels that everyone is out to get him. He is afraid his colleagues will turn him in, and so he traps them underground and starts to kill them off, one-by-one.
His fellow scientists include: Linda (Elisabeth Shue, who somehow gets top billing over Bacon), Matthew (Josh Brolin), Sarah (Kim Dickens), Carter (Greg Grunberg), and Kramer (William Devane). Linda was his ex-lover sometime in the past. Now she's going out with Matthew. Sebastian doesn't like this; it's part of what triggers his ferocious outbreak in the first place. In short, the guy goes crazy and there's nothing they can do about it except pray and hunt him down with their little goggles and stun guns.
Sebastian considers himself God.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. D. Welsh on May 6, 2009
Format: DVD
I should lay my cards on the table and admit that I thoroughly dislike Paul Verhoeven's films (well certainly "Starship Troopers" and "Total Recall" - who else could ruin a Heinlein and a PKD?) I think his approach to making films is condescending, meretricious, and cynical; and I don't relish being patronised.

"Hollow Man" displays all the standard symptoms of advanced Verhoeven Syndrome: shallow plot, no character development, gratuitous violence, and a contempt for the laws of science that almost amounts to an organised campaign to subvert SF as a genre. Witness the dramatic idea (stolen directly from H.G. Wells, of course) of making animals and human beings completely invisible, without the slightest shred of scientific explanation except for some mumbo-jumbo about quantum shifts. Making organisms vanish is done by injecting them with a lurid orange liquid injected from an immense hypodermic that looks like a Fisher-Price toy (but only after it's been "irradiated"). Making the creatures visible again calls for the identical process - but this time with a bright blue liquid! (I'm not making this up, honest, although I might have got the colours transposed).

Bacon, who acts as brilliantly as usual, is represented as not too tightly wrapped at the best of times, and when his cunning plan to become world-famous by being the first human to vanish and reappear goes pear-shaped, he sulks and then goes psycho. Cue an outbreak of picturesque violence loaded with themes stolen from here, there, and everywhere - music reminiscent of "Predator", hidden menaces like those in "Aliens", and of course a huge explosion that hurls a fireball up a lift shaft after Shue and Brolin like those in every other "thriller" for years.
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