Hollow Man/Hollow Man 2 [Blu-ray] Paul Verhoeven & Claudio Fah

Hollow Man/Hollow Man 2 [Blu-ray] Paul Verhoeven & Claudio Fah
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If the original Hollow Man were to come out now, after the terrifying advent of the superhero movie raped our culture with repressed male id impulses and fantastical ego personification for more than a decade, it might be interpreted differently than it was back in 2000. It's a deconstruction of, or "fuck you" to, the American notion of individual heroism and altruism, pointing out that the conceptual application of specialness—an inherently male construct seething from every exclusionary arbitrary socio-economic construct in modern culture—is very much a megalomaniacal desire. And as depicted by the caustic, darkly comic, Paul Verhoeven, the myth of the invisible man is sullied with the nastiness of base human instinct, where only external judgment and punishment keeps men from merely taking what they want when they want it. That is ostensibly the premise of this rather naughty, visually oriented, thriller. Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon), an arrogant doctor that refers to himself as God—a nod to the Judeo-Christian ethos on which the land of "freedom" is based—develops an invisibility potion, which he uses on himself. Despite warnings and control measures set by his co-worker and ex-girlfriend, Linda (Elisabeth Shue), he devolves into a duplicitous natural state, removed from the imposition of social propriety, playing with staff vet Sarah's (Kim Dickens) breasts while she sleeps and raping a comely neighbour (Rhona Mitra) with an inexplicable preoccupation with walking around topless in her apartment. The assertion that the male ego, as reinforced by the Western application of individual importance instilled in childhood and throughout their narrative tropes, is little more than a vessel for self-sustaining power and consumption, while subversive, isn't particularly revolutionary within the vacuum of gender theory. What is fascinating is that Paul Verhoeven uses the very genre tropes—a sensationalist, visual effects laden, blockbuster complete with senseless nudity—he mocks to attract the very audience he's flipping the bird to. It's something he's done consistently throughout his career, slyly comparing Americans to Nazis in Starship Troopers and slamming the action hero construct in Total Recall. It's just a shame that his widely dismissed, highly sleazy, invisible man piece wasn't quite as successful as his other films. It's also a shame that Hollow Man 2, which is included in this bare bones blu-ray set, completely misses the point of the original and replicates the plot of Terminator with Christian Slater playing the invisible man. The subtext suggests that military experimentation is bad. It's fucking horrid, but is at least an amusing juxtaposition with the original Hollow Man. (Mill Creek Entertainment)