When we were younger, there was one question that was often asked. “If you were a superhero, what power would you want?” That was the age-old question that was posed to many of us growing up, especially those of us that had an affinity for comic books. Some of the most common answers were flight, super strength, and invisibility. Invisibility always came with lofty goals like being able to rob a bank without being caught, which wouldn’t make sense at all. That power is the subject of a deeply disturbing Kevin Bacon film that is set to leave Netflix soon, Hollow Man.
Hollow Man came out in the year 2000. The film was initially inspired by The Invisible Man, which is a story that has been adapted several times from a novel of the same name that was written by H.G. Wells in 1897. The book was influential and helped Wells to gain the title of “father of science-fiction.” Except Hollow Man was more of a science-fiction-based horror film that loosely borrowed the ideas of the book. The film holds a horrible 26% critic rating and 28% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. In the film’s defense, it is far more entertaining than the scores on Rotten Tomatoes give it. Although it was critically panned, the film pulled in $190 million in worldwide box office numbers against a budget of $90 million, essentially making it a success. Kevin Bacon might have been a huge reason why this movie succeeded so much.
Hollow Man follows Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) and his fellow group of research scientists, who are attempting to create a serum for the military that will make whoever takes the serum, invisible. They have engaged in plenty of animal trials, as their facility is full of animals that are invisible. However, a huge issue is bringing these animals back from invisibility without killing them. They practice on a gorilla and are successful in bringing the gorilla back to visibility. However, Caine lies to the military and tells them they are close, but not quite at the level, they should be at. He then convinces his team that the military has given them permission to take their experiment into human trials. Caine is subjected to the trial and turns invisible. However, he cannot be brought back, as he nearly dies from the serum. Without spoiling the rest of the film, fans can go see what else happens on Netflix.
Hollow Man does contain some nods to the original novel, as there is a scene where Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) leaves the facility, though he is asked not to. He creates a mask and gloves from latex so that the rest of the team can spot him around the facility. He uses this disguise to leave the facility, which bears a striking resemblance to the description of The Invisible Man, with his bandages and a fake nose. However, Caine is a bit more murderous than the book’s protagonist. Caine is also a scientist that relies heavily on beakers and other experimentation tools, which is the basis of the weird nature of The Invisible Man.
Hollow Man stars Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue, Josh Brolin, Greg Grunberg, Mary Randle, and Kim Dickens. Again, though the film was some huge negative reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, it is still considered a success. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, which was lost to Gladiator. That is some huge praise for a film that was looked at in such a negative way. Not many science-fiction-based horror films are in the Oscar-nominated category. Not many horror movies can even claim that either. There was a straight-to-DVD sequel released in 2006 that starred Christian Slater, but we like to forget that one exists.
Hollow Man is streaming right now on Netflix, and despite its negative press, the film features a truly horrifying performance from Kevin Bacon. Not that he hasn’t played a psycho before this film had come out, but he plays that part to perfection in this film. It might seem like an odd take on a classic novel, but it’s still entertaining. The film is set to leave Netflix on July 1st, so watch it while you can.