Saturday, February 13, 2010

Blockbuster Trash: Hollow Man 2

You just had to know that I would dip into the pool of these direct-to-video sequels, didn't you?  I'm just a masochist in that way.  This one is a rare example (not a Case) of these movies actually putting out an actual sequel though.  As anyone who has seen 8MM 2, The Net 2.0 or Wargames 2 can tell you, most of these movies are a lie.  They are either 'remake-quels' (The Net, Wargames) or something completely unrelated.  Mind you, this film is only a sequel in the sense that they reference the invisibility formula already existing and having already been used to disastrous results.  There is no Kevin Bacon or Elisabeth Shue here- sorry.  Instead, you get the guy from Fastlane, some lady I've never heard of and two scenes with the guy from My Own Worst Enemy.  This is actually one of the major issues- a lack of star.  You see, they find a sneaky way to get around showing their highest-paid actor on screen for more than a few minutes in the film.  Curious now?  Find out the full-story in my review of...
The film begins with a posh party for a rich biological development company.  All is well until a crude engineer shows his face.  Damn you, Dilbert!  He starts being knocked around by an unseen force and goes into the bathroom.  A voice begins to speak to him and asks for the buffer.  What's the buffer?  You'll find out later.  He explains that he can't get it, which the voice/person does not take well.  One beating and Batman-style window-hanging later, the invisible man seems satisfied.  He leaves the engineer in peace, but only on the promise that he not tell anyone that he was there.  About 20 seconds later, the guys picks up his phone like a true dumb-ass.  The invisible man smashes his phone and, in a bit of insanity, slashes the man throat with the hardware chip from his phone!  What- was his neck made out of tissue paper?!?  The police arrive in the form of two cops...and that's it.  A murder occurs in a building full of people and you just send them?  Okay then.  They speculate about how it took place with no witnesses, but that is interrupted by the military showing up to take precedence.  Back in the base, the duo complains, but are put on guard duty for a young woman.  This is sure to be unrelated...
The movie spends a while just sort of hanging out.  The sister to our heroine shows up, talks and leaves.  The police talk about random shit- including the male partner's tan- which goes nowhere.  We even get a sub-plot involving a young couple trying to film a night-vision sex tape.  Does it lead anywhere?  Other than a brief hint of nudity and a bit showing the invisible man run by...for some reason, no.  Finally, he sneaks into the house, tries to get to the woman and kills the partner.  As a bonus, it happens- you guessed it- off-screen.  The invisible man knocks around our heroes, but the military shows up!  The invisible man, however, gets away by throwing a bunch of flash bangs.  Um, where did he store those?  Please don't say 'up his ass,' because that is what I'm thinking!  Rather than stay surrounded by the armed men, our heroes run off into a city full of innocent people.  What's the first part in 'protect & serve' again?  Eventually, heroes escape in an anti-climactic fashion by crossing the road & allowing a random guy to hit our villain.  Back at the police station, our hero suspects that something is going on that he doesn't know.  Was the invisible killer your first clue?
Finally, in a plot dump, the woman explains everything.  In his first appearance a mere forty-five minutes in, a shirtless Christian Slater is given the invisibility serum.  He transforms in a scene that mirrors the first one and disappears.  See you in the finale, Christian!  Basically, the government is trying to bring the program back to make assassins for political targets.  However, since the stuff makes the people crazy, they don't want them to live long and don't give them the 'buffer' that will allow them to live for more than a month.  Naturally, this does not sit well with Mr. Slater, who kills one of them with a pen through the eye.  They hint at his previous bad actions, but never explain them, making this whole sub-plot: entirely pointless.  As the movie nears its climax, we also meet another surviving invisible man...although we can see him.  He explains a bit a of plot and dies- moving on...  In the big finale, our lone detective is forced to use the invisibility potion to stop Slater.  Of course, we get a bit where he is somehow dragging the lady scientist through the air in the movie's silliest effect!  The battle between invisible men is set-up and...very disappointing.  It lasts a few minutes before we learn that the woman injected Slater with rat poison, instead of the buffer, and he turns...visible.  Huh?  Who cares?  Slater gets an off-camera shovel death and our detective is left looking on as a wanderer.  The End.
This movie is, well, not good.  The whole thing is built around silly effects and lots of voice-overs of Slater.  The man busts out his best Batman voice for the role, making me wonder how much was really him.  What we are left with the interaction between the cop and the lady scientist which...falls flat.  Neither one of them is really bad, but they have zero chemistry.  The invisibility effects are very low-budget and mostly look like people just tossing themselves around a lot.  Considering that they could barely afford to get Slater- who gets third-billing, by the way- I am not surprised at the Asylum-level effects here.  You get some interesting make-up work for the dying Slater, but that's about it.  There is some good action to be had here, but most of it just sullies the franchise's name.  Oh wait, this is Hollow Man 2.  The first film has three good scenes and its most interesting scene- the trailer scene with him assaulting Shue- was a dream.  Never mind then.
Up next, a film that is the antithesis of what Valentine's Day stands for.  I suffered a lot for this, so you will too...dammit.  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. Ugh this one was almost unwatchable, the only reason I still have it in my collection is its too badly scratched to sell or throw away. The trash wouldnt take it