Hollow Man 2, which is streaming now on Peacock, stars Christian Slater as the title character, a soldier who becomes invisible after a government experiment gone awry. As a result of the accident, his health begins to worsen, and he sets out to take revenge on those responsible for his condition. The 2006 sci-fi horror film is a sequel to 2000’s Hollow Man, an adaptation of the classic H.G. Wells novel The Invisible Man.
Released direct to video, Hollow Man 2 was directed by Claudio Fäh and written by Joel Soisson, whose previous credits include A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. None of the cast from the original film returned, and the sequel is largely unconnected to its predecessor. It also did not receive a strong critical response, but it stands as an interesting entry into a long history of films based on the original Wells story.
The direct-to-video Hollow Man 2 is now streaming on Peacock.
Watching Hollow Man 2, viewers might see a resemblance to the 2020 film The Invisible Man when there is an invisible fight sequence in the rain, but it also includes the idea from the original novel that the state of being invisible causes side effects that increase in severity. The original character was driven increasingly mad by the state of invisibility, slipping into paranoia and megalomania.
The Invisible Man character has been a perennial movie monster since first portrayed by Claude Rains in 1933 and stands as one of the classic Universal monsters.
Hollow Man 2 was not a Universal production, nor are most of the adaptations of the idea that exist. The Christian Slater film was produced by Destination Films and distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. It was later released on Blu-ray in 2013 by Mill Creek Entertainment, though that release lacked all the special features that were on the original DVD.
While Hollow Man 2 might be something of a disappointment as a film, as a part of the Invisible Man legacy, it is an interesting entry for those who are curious about the development of the Invisible Man idea over the course of history. H.G. Wells’ original novel was initially serialized in Pearson’s Weekly in 1897, the same year it was released in book form.
Hollow Man 2 may not be the greatest version of the classic story, but it’s a fun sci-fi romp for a lazy afternoon.
This makes the Invisible Man especially significant as more than just a monster, arising from the mind of the author, who is often credited as the father of science fiction.
Before Universal Studios made a string of films based on the novel and well before Hollow Man 2 or any of the other more recent cinematic adaptations, the Invisible Man entered the public consciousness through one of the most important authors in history. The novel’s many adaptations include the 1930s and 1940s films, a 1950s TV series, a TV series from the 2000s, and multiple films that have shifted between the sci-fi and horror elements of the story.
While Hollow Man 2 and its predecessor certainly included the horror element, the 2020 film The Invisible Man has probably leaned most fully into that side of the equation. It takes a much darker tone than many of the previous Invisible Man films. On the other side of the coin, perhaps moving a bit beyond the science fiction element, is the 1992 Chevy Chase comedy Memoirs of an Invisible Man.
Hollow Man 2 might at first seem to owe little to this much lighter foray into the Invisible Man idea, but it actually is an heir to that film’s legacy, as is every Invisible Man movie that has been made since. Memoirs of an Invisible Man was directed by John Carpenter, who was taking a break from sci-fi horror to explore the more whimsical side of the Invisible Man.
While Hollow Man 2 and its predecessor certainly included the horror element, the 2020 film The Invisible Man has probably leaned most fully into that side of the equation.
The film was a leap forward in digital effects, achieving many of the same effects that were done in the 1930s and ’40s using then-burgeoning CGI technology while also accomplishing things that had, to that point, been nearly impossible to convincingly portray on film.
In that sense, Memoirs of an Invisible Man is the forerunner of all other Invisible Man movies that have utilized digital effects, including Hollow Man 2. If you’re interested in seeing how the visual effects used to tell Invisible Man stories have changed over the years, you can include Hollow Man 2 in a marathon of Invisible Man movies by streaming it on Peacock.