[box cover]

Hollow Man 2

When a movie is a direct-to-video sequel to a film that was (at best) tepidly received at the box office, it's not exactly like the resulting film is going to be high art. And 2006's direct-to-video Hollow Man 2 makes no illusions about being anything more than a cash-in with a washed-up name player (Christian Slater) who makes no bones about being in the film as little as possible (outside of voiceovers, he's on screen for less than five minutes). But even whores like having some shred of integrity, and Hollow Man 2 is such a bad film that it comes close to being a truly great bad film and then futzes the greatest moment it could have had by trying to class that moment up. The plot is simple: Ex-military man Michael Griffin (Slater) is made invisible by secret U.S. Army experiments, and these tests turn him into a monster. As such, he's killing anyone who had anything to do with turning him invisible, which leads him to Dr. Maggie Dalton (Laura Regan), who's being protected by cop Frank Turner (Peter Facinelli). What neither Maggie or Frank know is that the government's higher-ups want to take Griffin in alive, and that makes Frank and Maggie hit the road without any other protection. Even with a sequence of gratuitous nudity, Hollow Man 2 is a pretty rote and uninteresting movie until about the 75-min. mark, when Frank takes some serum that makes him invisible too. Five minutes later it looks like one invisible man is going to have a fight with the other, and were director Claudio Faeh a sneaky genius, he would have staged such in a situation that was simply absurd. If the two combatants fighting on-screen offered no evidence of them actually being there — save for things being knocked over — it'd be a brilliant bad film (imagine strings knocking over vases and test tubes, and off-screen actors grunting while the camera pans back and forth through an empty frame and you'll get the idea). That sort of over-the-top bad would make it memorable. Instead, the invisible men fight in the rain, which means we get some cheap CG work mixed with an already "no need for it" plot that has little if no connection to the original. And that leaves just one memorable thing about this DVD — when Slater is interviewed for the "making-of" featurette "Inside Hollow Man II" (17 min.) wearing a mask that covers his face. It's just trashy enough to admire. Sony presents Hollow Man 2 on DVD in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Extras include the aforementioned "making-of" spot, a "Visual FX comparison (7 min.), "Storyboard Comparison" (5 min.), a storyboard still gallery, and bonus trailers. Keep-case.

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