*1/2 (out of 5)
April 27, 2007
Justin Chatwin as NICK POWELL
Margarita Levieva as ANNIE NEWTON
Marcia Gay Harden as DIANE POWELL
Chris Marquette as PETE
Alex O’Loughlin as MARCUS BOHEM
Callum Keith Rennie as BRIAN LARSON
Studio: Hollywood Pictures
Directed by: David S. Goyer
BY KEVIN CARR
More and more lately, studios have been shying away from screening their movies for critics. On one hand, I feel empowered. After all, if they are purposely not screening movies, they must be scared of us, and that means we are significant.
On the other hand, it ticks me off. They’re leaving us out of the equation. They’re not playing fair. And they’re showing their hand before it gets played. After all, it’s like running from the cops. If they don’t screen a film, it’s gotta be bad, right?
Although there have been films I’ve seen lately that haven’t been screened that I have liked – such as last week’s “Vacancy,” for example – there have been plenty more that I’ve found terrible. And Hollywood Pictures’ “The Invisible” is one of the terrible ones.
This bothers me because the premise is pretty nifty. High school senior Nick Powell (Justin Chatwin) is beat up by a bunch of thugs and left for dead. His spirit finds himself walking the earth and realizes that he’s still alive somewhere. Even though he’s like a ghost and can’t communicate with the living, he has to lead everyone to his injured body in hopes of survival.
Yes, it sounds a bit like “Ghost” with a teenager, only the main character isn’t dead in this film. However, unlike the powerhouse Patrick Swayze hit from almost 20 years ago, “The Invisible” has far less drama and far less coherency.
Justin Chatwin is a decent actor, but he’s given a real dud of a character. He’s supposed to be the hero, but he’s nothing more than a whiny, complaining, rich brat. He makes a living at school selling term papers, and his best friend is a weak-willed drug addict who can’t defend himself from a couple bullies and a girl with a jack knife. Additionally, Nick is estranged from his widow mother because she never gave him enough love after his father died.
Sigh… I guess it’s typical of a teenage whiny kid, but it’s not what I like to see on the big screen.
Even when he’s a pseudo ghost, he does nothing but whine and complain in vain to the living, hoping someone will find his body. At least in “Ghost,” Patrick Swayze actually tried to do something positive. Of course, he had Whoopie Goldberg on his side, and all Justin Chatwin has is an alcoholic mother, a lily-livered friend and a punk pretty girl who almost killed him.
I really wanted to like this movie, but sadly, I had to pay for my own ticket and take one for the team. This goes on the ever-growing list of films I cite as reasons why being a movie critic may, in fact, not be the coolest job in the world.
I had hope for director David S. Goyer, but sadly it seems that his best stuff often comes from writing and not directing. Sure, he’s written “Blade,” “Dark City” and “Batman Begins.” But as a director, his best effort before “The Invisible” was “Blade: Trinity.”
I guess Hollywood had a reason to be scared of what the critics would say about this film.