HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
   
 
Newest Articles
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Memoirs of an Invisible Man Transparent Dealings
Year: 1992
Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah, Sam Neill, Michael McKean, Stephen Tobolowsky, Jim Norton, Pat Skipper, Paul Perri, Richard Epcar, Steven Barr, Gregory Paul Martin, Patricia Heaton, Barry Kivel, Donald Li, Rosalind Chao, Jay Gerber, Shay Duffin
Genre: Comedy, Thriller, Science Fiction, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Something very strange happened to Nick Halloway (Chevy Chase) recently: he turned invisible. Now he is making a video of himself to tell his story, obviously he cannot be seen but he demonstrates proof he really is transparent - picking up objects, blowing a bubble of gum - then settles back to regale the viewer of how this came to be. He was a stockbroker who while being good at his job did not particularly engage with it, preferring to spend time at the gentlemen's club of which he was a member, or dutifully going out on dates suggested by his married best friend George (Michael McKean). However, one date with Alice (Daryl Hannah) went rather better than he had anticipated and they agreed to meet again...

One problem with that was the business meeting Nick had the following day, more of a conference really, where he slipped away from the dull scientific talk to sleep off his hangover for a few minutes in an upstairs office. But one problem the public had with Memoirs of an Invisible Man was accepting Chevy Chase as a serious actor, and it wasn't only audience that messed up its chances, as behind the scenes his insistence that this be a comedy-free movie put him at loggerheads with the production, including screenwriter William Goldman, hired to put a humorous spin on H.F. Saint's largely serious if fantastical novel, and director Ivan Reitman, who hoped to make something in the vein of an Invisible Man Ghostbusters.

Uh-uh, wasn't going to happen because Chase was insistent he could play this straight, so John Carpenter was hired presumably because he had experience with special effects, aside from being a safe pair of professional hands and some compromise was sought. This resulted in a film that wavers between the sincerely meant sequences of what the issues of being invisible would bring up, and more comedic scenes such as Nick hailing a cab by manipulating the body of an unconsciously drunk businessman. It was plain for all to see that it was pulling in different directions, but it deserved more of a chance than it had back in 1992, where it was more or less rejected once audiences twigged this wasn't your common or garden wacky Chevy Chase laff riot.

It's odd, since his Fletch role would appear to have demonstrated he had the chops to make it as a leading man in a light adventure such as this, though he did have a tendency to piss people off in his career, and you could argue that until his late on renaissance with sitcom Community he never really recovered - and he left Community under a cloud as well. What readers of the novel took issue with was not so much Chase's casting and more that the cult acclaim it had won for its ingenious writing had not translated to the screen: they had taken the concept and wandered off in their more conventional Hollywood stylings, leaving more of a North By Northwest of an Invisible Man, adopting the thriller template that had served them well for decades.

And would continue to do so for decades to come, therefore what you were left with was less an adaptation of Saint's only novel, and more H.G. Wells updated with some generally excellent special effects and the disappearing protagonist as the hero instead of the villain. Hannah didn't get much to do in a stock role (though she did manage to get her usual, unusual character profession crowbarred into the dialogue), yet Sam Neill was a better than average antagonist as the Government agent determined to capture Nick for use in espionage, much against Nick's will. Their rivalry was an aspect the film wisely leaned on for its tension, as a game of cat and mouse develops in the by then customary painting of the authorities, especially the Secret Services, as sinister puppet masters; it may have been a cliché by then, but it was at least partly taken from the source and operated very neatly overall. As did the movie, it was never going to be a classic, but for an undemanding adventure with state of the art effects it was a lot friendlier than Hollow Man, with a pleasing, slick air belying its troubles. Music by Shirley Walker.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2655 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

John Carpenter  (1948 - )

Skillful American writer-director of supense movies, often in the science fiction or horror genres. Comedy Dark Star and thriller Assault on Precinct 13 were low budget favourites, but mega-hit Halloween kick-started the slasher boom and Carpenter never looked back.

The Fog, Escape from New York, The Thing, the underrated Christine, Big Trouble in Little China, They Live and Prince of Darkness all gained cult standing, but his movies from the nineties onwards have been disappointing: Escape from L.A., Vampires and Ghosts of Mars all sound better than they really are, although The Ward was a fair attempt at a return, if not widely seen. Has a habit of putting his name in the title. In 2018, after branching off into music, he returned to produce another Halloween sequel. He should direct a western sometime.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: