I was surprised and delighted at the start of The Invisible Man to see the Blumhouse studio animation, and then the pointed, smartly-executed titles. I like good titles. And I felt like I was missing out on the other current Blumhouse picture, Fantasy Island. This way I could get my BlumHouse in, and with the promise of something a lot better than Fantasy Island. Not that I’m a rabid, die-hard Blumhouse fan; there’ve been some clunkers, to be sure, and I refuse to partake in any of The Purge due to the ridiculous premise. But there’s a lot of fun, cheap thrills too, and I admire the Blumhouse spirit.
So it was that I was with The Invisible Man from the get-go, if it seemed a little slowly paced. Something less than captivating. Like the titles, the film is very well executed. Capably done. Elisabeth Moss, as usual, was very good. But with one major exception and maybe another minor one, the story was predictable and not terrible original, and worse, flawed in places. For example: often the invisible man seemed to exhibit super-human strength. Hmmm.
LESS THAN CAPTIVATING
The Invisible Man definitely didn’t wow me. There were certainly some excellent parts to it, even excellent story elements. Good but hardly great. Just wondering if I should still go for Fantasy Island, even with the cavernous ratings aggregate… 6/10
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Oodles of Comparison Notes: first and foremost, Sleeping with the Enemy; Gone, Gone Girl, The Gift, Terminator 2, Upgrade, Rebecca (Hitchcock), Side Effects, Bloodshot (yes, the movie that hasn’t even been released yet), Us, Get Out, Searching, Prisoners, Thoroughbreds, A Simple Favor, Gaslight (credit the Times for reminding me: this story goes back to 1938), and credit to the otherwise inferior A Quiet Place: when you walk, jump, or stomp around, you make sounds, invisible or not. There are hints of sounds in The Invisible Man, but you need more sounds.
Gaslight was a little different story, though. Tricks were being played on her, and a cloak of invisibility didn’t factor in. The whole film was much more clever. And it had set-up. Set-up was seriously lacking in The Invisible Man — another symptom of overall story weakness.
That was also the thing with Sleeping with the Enemy: a lot of good, crucial set-up. No, Manohla Dargis, The Invisible Man is not some profound statement on the #MeToo movement. This is just a remake/take on Sleeping with the Enemy, from almost 30 years ago, long before #MeToo.