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Westside Steve

The Invisible Man review

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The Invisible Man
Universal
R                  124 min
This month we have a couple of movies based on books that came out over a century ago this one from the HG Wells novel from 1897! As a matter of fact, the original film was 1933 starring Claude Rains and that was almost a hundred years ago! 
This weekend he returns to the screen from writer director Leigh Whannell an Australian whose credits up to now have been mostly as a writer for the groundbreaking SAW horror series. 
I knew that much going in and I was wondering if this one would take a similar ultra-violent turn but it did not. Neither is it a remake having almost nothing to do with the original save for the fact that somebody turns invisible. In 1930 Rains’ Dr. Griffin discovers a potion that will turn him invisible but finds out that one of the side effects is insanity. In 2020 Oliver Jackson’s Griffin is a brilliant research scientist, also an abusive psychopath, who is that way well before he ever invented an invisibility suit. 
In the opening scene his girlfriend Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) escapes his mansion / laboratory and makes her way to freedom hiding out in the home of a childhood friend, James (Aldis Hodges) a police officer and his daughter.
In any science fiction film, it’s necessary to suspend reality, unfortunately here even doing so leaves a few incongruous situations. Soon after her escape Cecilia finds out the Griffin is dead and has left her 5 million bucks to be paid in installments as long as she is not convicted of a crime nor diagnosed with mental illness. (how did the authorities determine this guy was dead since he’s obviously still alive and wearing the invisibility suit? Habeas corpus anybody?) Soon he is stalking her and making her life a living hell, eventually framing her for murder which results in incarceration in a mental institution. Bingo. That’s the basis of the plot and I won’t spoil it by adding any details that aren’t obvious early in the film. I did, however, have a few problems with this one. Little things are bothersome as in many of the action sequences. For example, where she is 15 feet away as he assaults police and security officers yet is inches away from somebody’s dropped pistol. In one scene he is chasing her into the attic and she throws a bucket of paint over his head only to find he has washed it off seconds later in the kitchen sink. There’s no possible way that task could have been completed outside of a long trip to the shower. And on top of the nonsense there’s barely enough suspense to keep you awake. To be honest, and I feel a little bit guilty for this, one of the biggest downsides was having to look at Elisabeth Moss, one of Hollywood’s least attractive women, for 2 hours.
This is a Universal film, the studio famous for horror movies, and I was surprised to see this project has been in the works for over 10 years originally planned as a vehicle for Johnny Depp. I can’t imagine he would be thrilled to play a part that has about 5 minutes screen time, the rest being invisible…
Anyway, right up until the ending, which I actually enjoyed, I was prepared to give this one a lukewarm C, but the climax earned it an extra half letter grade.
C+
WSS
 

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Ah.... The Invisible Review appears... :)

Near lock-step on this one... although I liked it a bit more than you despite the plot holes... and seeing the ending coming early in that scene.

I did spend much of the movie wondering where I'd seen Hodge before... hit me late... Straight Outta Compton.

Major quibble would be that Moss was more attractive in this role than I've ever seen her. Not stunning or anything, but "more attractive".

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That original was one of the few "horror" movies we little kids were allowed to see on Saturday night "Shock Theater" back in the 50s.

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