The Invisible Man (Universal)

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A lot of people just despise remakes out of the gate. I’m definitely not one of those people. I always give them a chance to stand on their own merits. In the case of The Invisible Man, there are not only comparisons to be made to the original black and white film, but also to the H.G. Wells story. I guess I can see then, why some people dislike this film, but I don’t share that feeling.

Perhaps part of that is the fact that I was never a big fan of the original movie, and while it was revolutionary for the time, Wells’ original work is very dated and a little silly from a twenty-first century perspective. So, perhaps I came into this with a bit less baggage than a lot of people did.

So, let’s just get the old stuff out of the way right now. No, this does not follow the story of the original or Wells’ story at all. It brings the concepts of an invisible man into the modern age. Even the “science” of his invisibility is changed. That’s actually a good thing because Wells was ahead of his time, but his methodology is closer to some kind of alchemy than what would be considered real science today. The mechanism displayed in this movie is more realistic and likely something that will eventually be achievable.

I know that some of the hate comes from a perception of the movie being a vehicle for what some perceive as a liberal message delivery system. Let me just say that I think that’s garbage. Sure, the story centers around a woman who escapes from an abusive relationship, only to find that her abuser not only has faked his own death, but is now continuing the pattern of abuse with the added weapon of invisibility. If you think that’s some kind of “social justice warrior” messaging (don’t get me on that subject) that tells me more about you than it does about this film. It’s a plot line. It’s also (minus the added invisibility issue) a story that’s not anything new. Your perception of it is obviously what has changed because some cable networks are packed with this kind of programming with shows dating back decades. Some people have just been conditioned to have a knee-jerk reaction to this kind of thing, and it’s pretty sad.

I wish I hadn’t had to address that issue, but that’s the age we live in now. So, continuing about the film, I found the characters believable and intriguing. The danger and threats seemed very real. There were some scenes that I just didn’t see coming, too. At least one of which was a big shock moment. The movie does have one  flaws I saw. I can’t go into them too deeply without serving as a spoiler, but let’s just say that the tech side of it seems to stretch a bit beyond believability a couple times for me, but that’s minor.

So, to sum this all up, perhaps this isn’t exactly a horror movie. It does have horror elements. It’s more of a thriller in a lot of ways. Science fiction is a huge part of it, too. I’d almost land this in the zone of the whole superhero genre, too, but more of the villain type film. Whatever you call it, though, I’d say that this is a compelling film that really pulls you in and doesn’t let go. I really enjoyed it a lot. I even found myself sitting through the credits hoping there would be a post credit scene (there wasn’t). It seemed like there should have been. Gary Hill

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