Directed by Claudio Fäh (2006)
Reviewed by MaT, added on Jun 5 2006
Every once in a while, there is a direct-to-video sequel of a high budget Hollywood film that lives up to it's theatrical predecessor. Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation is one of those films that come to mind. It didn't have the flash or budget of the original film, yet it ended up being more than the sum of its parts. Hollow Man II is not one of these movies.
I've always been a fan of the "Invisible Man", mostly because I think the character is wonderful and there is an infinite number of cool fx work that can be done with a dude that can't be seen. At one point in time, most people have dreamt of what it would be like to be invisible so most people can relate to the character at first and then see the horror of the situation when the psychosis starts kicking in. Though most people hated the first Hollow Man (starring Kevin Bacon), I enjoyed it immensely. In my opinion, there can never be too many films about an "Invisible Man" (on a sidenote, be sure to check out John Carpenter's vastly underrated Memoirs of an Invisible Man with Chevy Chase).
Hollow Man II grabs the honor of being the first "Invisible Man" film that I didn't like. The story is about a somewhat imbalanced elite soldier (he did some bad things in the middle east...) played by Christian Slater, who volunteers for a covert military experiment to create a "super soldier" that is impossible to stop, hence the "invisibility" angle. Unfortunately, the serum has side effects... as in it kills you after a period of time. Therefore, Slater must get a hold of a "buffer" serum created by the same scientist in order to halt the deterioration of his cells. Throw in a generic detective that never plays by the rules and that should have been the recipe for a derivitive, yet fun adventure.
Sadly, the film is never really exciting or interesting and ends up being really boring. Slater's voicework is really bad and sounds as flat and uninspired. The fx work is decent enough considering this is DTV, but nothing new happens that hasn't been seen in other "Invisible Man" movies. Most of the time, people are just throwing themselves into tables or walls. You never really get the sense that there is an invisible guy doing any of the destruction. There are also some questionable instances in the film that make you say "Huh?", like when Slater dons a hoodie and goes walking around in it. You're invisible, and yes, I understand that one of the side effects of the serum is that light becomes painful, but that doesn't explain why he was wearing it while driving a car...at night.
I guess I can't say that Hollow Man II is completely terrible. In my opinion, it's always fun to see keyboards typing by themselves, pieces of cell phones slice open jugular's, and liquid somehow attach itself to the "Invisible Man" to make him "visible". If you can stand the really dull plotline, some bad voiceover work, and some iffy "action" scenes, then Hollow Man II will be a somewhat enjoyable experience.
I can't recommend that you rent it, but I would recommend coercing one of your friends to waste his/her money on it, if not for the film, then just for the good laugh you'll get when they yell at you for wasting their money.