What The Film?! is a weekly column exclusive to Under The Gun Review that brings to light the plot holes Hollywood hoped you’d never notice. Written by comedy writer Dane Sager, this column shows no mercy to films that try and pull the proverbial wool over our eyes.
If you know a film with major plot holes that you feel needs to be exposed, tell us! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “What The Film” and we’ll try to get your suggestion featured on the site.
This Week’s Movie: 2000’s Hollow Man
Lets get this out of the way: I love Paul Verhoeven. For those of you who don’t know who he is, Paul Verhoeven is a Dutch film maker who makes the type of movies that Roger Corman or the SyFy channel would make if they could receive a budget above seventeen dollars. He has made several incredibly violent and graphic science fiction movies including 1987’s RoboCop, 1990’s Total Recall, and 1997’s Starship Troopers. I used to argue that Paul Verhoeven uses the incredibly sexually explicit, graphically violent, and one dimensional stories/characters as a satire, that it wasn’t glorifying what it was showing, but he rather was making a joke out of it. Used to.
Hollow Man is one of the many films that comprise a list of movies that would be significantly better if Nicolas Cage were in them. This list includes every movie that Nicolas Cage isn’t in. Hollow Man caters to his sensibilities almost perfectly, having the title character go insane over the course of the movie (something Nicolas Cage can do in his sleep).
The movie opens with Kevin Bacon watching his neighbor change her clothes through her window. It immediately opens up with making us dislike the lead character. At work the next day, Brandon from The Goonies ends up letting out an invisible gorilla who is having anger issues loose in their underground laboratory. This is one of the worst things to discover when you arrive at work, placed on the list between Mandatory Nickelback Concert and Someone Pooped In The Urinal.
It’s soon revealed that Kevin Bacon works on a super secret government project to turn people invisible and to safely bring them back to being visible, something he’s been having problems with. Kevin Bacon discovers the formula and hides it from the government so he can be the first human test subject. They inject the invisible serum into Kevin Bacon, and the tube hooked to his vein is filled with bubbles. It’s very possible that this could not be a mistake, it could be because the coworkers were trying to give him a heart attack. He was kind of a dick (on a related note, you do see his penis in this scene).
The serum kicks in, slowly making his skin invisible, revealing his organs and circulatory system. It looks as if his body is slowing being eaten away, the CGI is actually fantastic in this sequence and is cringe worthily graphic. You also see his penis again. After the procedure, he walks around the room and magically doesn’t pick up any dirt whatsoever on his body, remaining invisible. You then see his invisible penis through a thermal camera. Here’s something to think about: someone’s job on this movie was to make a CGI penis. There had to be concept art, drawings, clay sculpting, rough drafts. Paul Verhoeven had to go through these penis drawings and select which was the best penis for his movie. This is one of the less glamorous things about being a director that you never hear about.
As it turns out, Kevin Bacon didn’t quite cure the invisibility like they assumed and he’s stuck being invisible till he discovers a cure. He continually complains about his inability to sleep since light passes right through his invisible eyelids. This scientist that we’re constantly being reminded of his genius never considers blind folds, eye patches, or even the simple concept of turning off the lights.
Kevin Bacon decides to leave the compound to get some stress of being forced to stay in the compound to fix the cure. He stops by his apartment to grab some CDs, books, just anything to keep him busy in the compound. He then rapes his neighbor he was peeping at from the beginning of the movie, because the serum and lack of sleep made him go completely insane (also he was a dick).
At this point in the movie, Kevin Bacon has become the raping, puppy murdering, evil antagonist which is not at all shocking since every line he’s ever had has made us like him less. He breaks out of the compound again, murdering his old boss in a swimming pool in a scene where you again see Kevin Bacon’s CGI penis. When he returns to the compound, he then starts murdering everyone there. Despite everyone at the compound being covered in blood, dirt, and assorted messes, Kevin Bacon still remains 100% invisible, not getting anything on him despite being in such dirty situations. There’s even a shot where you can see his footsteps walk through blood, none of which stick to his feet.
Kevin Bacon is eventually killed when he’s thrown down an elevator shaft. You also see his penis in this scene.
In one scene, they use a defibrillator on a gorilla, despite it not being able to work through its thick fur. In another scene, a character is locked in a -40 freezer. She has a lone tear go down her cheek, freezing in the process. If it were that cold, all the blood splashed on her would be frozen, and the fluid coating her eyes would be frozen as well. Why was there a lock on the freezer to begin with? What other uses could one have besides locking someone in it to kill someone? Later, the same woman is thrown into a puddle, soaking her shirt, but in the next shot, it’s completely dry. This is the level of detail and precision that gets you a 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. It received so many bad reviews that Sony actually invented a fake movie critic to give it good reviews. Sony actually settled in court to refund anyone their money who paid to see it. Paul Verhoeven’s next movie is a period piece taking place in the Dutch East Indies 200 years ago. You don’t have to wait long to see how many Kevin Bacon penises he fits into it, it comes out next year.