I thought this was pretty good and had some nice twist to it. The one rough girl character, I did not like though.
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Mark Eremite | Seoul, South Korea | 05/22/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"It's been said before, but I'm going to say it again: this movie is the pinnacle of false advertising. If you've seen the trailers, you know that one of the catchiest lines is, "How do you solve a murder when the victim ... is YOU?" Bum-ba-bum!
There is no murder. Furthermore, there is no mystery. What is there? Oh ho! Let me tell you.
***A HEADS-UP: I used to be a teenager, and although I know that the world has changed since I was navigating the rocky shores of puberty, I can still empathize and even relate to the emotional turbulence common among that time period. That having been said, I hope any teenage readers will take the following review with a grain of salt.***
"The Invisible" was designed solely to cater to an audience of young adults who feel that their personal melodramas are in some way unique to them. The movie is a vehicle for mawkish hamminess, an attempt to validate the confusing mental mess that results when a young person finds their biological engines suddenly flooded with a strange new hormonal fuel.
The story concerns two "invisible" teens. One of them, Nick Powell (played by an over-earnest Justin Chatwin), is a spoiled "misunderstood" genius who writes vacuous poetry and wants to make a living out of it. Without his mother's knowledge (his father is dead, giving him exclusive rights to be mopey), he purchases a ticket to London so that he might join a prestigious writing class. He is rather self-absorbed, but I say that like most poets aren't.
The other "invisible" teen is the weirdly mad Annie Newton (played unevenly by Margarita Levieva). Annie's mother is dead (a parallel!) and her father and step-mom are laughably bad parents. This makes her want to steal things and beat people up. She is misunderstood, too, you see (although I got the impression that, like most of us, she rather likes being misunderstood).
At this point, I do have to give the movie credit for not inlcuding the line "You don't know me!" or "You just don't understand!" anywhere in the script. Kudos!
Let's see. Oh, yes. Nick and Annie clash at school for a lot of "complicated" reasons, not the least of which being that Nick is egotistical and doesn't put up with Annie's disturbed-chick act (she wears all black and tries -- lamely -- to hide her good looks by wearing a skull cap for half of the film). One of Nick's "friends," Pete (perhaps the whiniest film character since Luke Skywalker), convices Annie that Nick is responsible for a recent snitching, and she responds by kicking Nick in the face several times. This puts him close to death. Close enough, that is, so that is soul leaves his body, but not the Earth.
This gives Nick the opportunity to wander around screaming at people and crying a lot. He also gets to go to class and hear all of his friends badmouth him since they don't know his spirit dwells among them. This also provides him with ample time to realize that his attacker, Annie, is really just a lonely, tortured, very sexy soul who dances moderately well. She also takes a very gratuitous shower, breaks into Nick's home and goes through his things, and manages to fool about twenty clueless cops. But she does it morosely and with a heafty dose of angst, so her actions endear Nick to Annie, you see, and I suppose they're supposed to endear her to us, as well.
Mix in an overwrought soundtrack that plays like an emotional scratch-n-sniff card, a pointless suicide scene, and a ludicrous implausibility involving what one can and cannot do after being shot in the stomach, and what you've got is a bloated metaphor about what it takes to be both accepted, loved, and a good person. Dripping with sweaty sentimentality and crippled by hammish histrionics, the movie's most insulting aspect is how excessively it tries to play to the hair-trigger emotions of a viewership that, presumably, is struggling with very real issues of growing up and self-realization. Instead of offering insights or even commiseration, this film serves up exorbitant passion and pretends like it's meaningful. I don't mind (and even get and enjoy) films that deal with the trials and tribulations of teens (Heathers, The Breakfast Club, American Pie, and even Gus Van Sant's sere and quiet Elephant) but I have no patience for a teen film that thinks it doesn't have to be smart or relevant or clever as long as it's moody and melodramatic. Bart Simpson once said that "Making teenagers depressed is like shooting fish in a barrel," but it doesn't take an adult to see straight through the manipulative mess of "The Invisible.""
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 11/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Invisible" was not a perfect film. I like its paranormal aspect in much the same way that I like the film The Covenant. David Goyer who directed "Zig Zag" in 2002 and "Blade: Trinity II" sits at the helm of this project. He keeps the pacing rolling. If you watch the deleted scenes on the DVD, it's interesting to see how many of the plot details could have been handled in several ways and the choices he made as director. Probably the greatest star of the film is its cinematographer Gabriel Beristain who has shot "The Ring Two," "S.W.A.T.," and "Blade II." While there are some paranormal plot aspects that seem questionable, this remake of the Swedish thriller "Den Osynlige" holds up pretty well for me.
Justin Chatwin who has had parts in the films "Taking Lives" and "War of the Worlds" does a good job as the good-looking Nick Powell who want to go to school in London to study writing while his mother wants him to become a lawyer. Chatwin may not have the greatest depth as an actor, but he comes across warm and likeable in the film, despite the fact that he's making money by selling term papers. Margarita Levieva who was in the TV show "The Vanished" plays Annie Newton, a hard-edged girl who brawls her way through a difficult home life and puts her in league with some rowdy friends. Levieva did a nice job in this major role, showing depth between the violent temper and her softer feminine side. Marcia Gay Harden who won Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "Pollock" in 2000 and was nominated in the same category for "Mystic River" in 2003 plays Diane Powell, Nick's widowed mother whose business sense predominates over being emotionally sensitive. There was a great variety in her performance from the very tightly controlled confident woman to the grieving mother who breaks down in sobs at the lost of her son. Nick's best buddy is Pete played by Chris Marquette. Marquette plays a weak character that has a hard time standing up for himself and is often a victim. One of the most interesting parts is played by Australian actor Alex O'Loughlin who is currently the good looking vampire on TV's "Moonlight" and is also in "August Rush." As Annie's ex-con boyfriend and betrayer Marcus Bohem, he looks rough and acts solely for his own benefit. Given this, O'Loughlin still manages to bring a nicely varied performance to the screen that is interesting to watch, even when we don't like the character. I found the sweet touches like Nick being a pal to Annie's little brother to leave a smile, despite the bittersweet violence and outcome of the film. Overall, I found the film to have some excellent nuances that enhanced from watching it originally in the theatre and then on DVD. Enjoy!"
A Schlock-Fest Mess
B. Merritt | WWW.FILMREVIEWSTEW.COM, Pacific Grove, California | 06/17/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"If you were a film maker and happened upon a bad premise that ended just as bad as it started, you'd probably want to hide. And thus, I believe, is where THE INVISIBLE received its true title.
Based EXTREMELY loosely on the 2002 Swedish thriller DEN OSYNLIGE, The Invisible is so wrought with problems as to be sadly laughable.
First let's look at the premise of the film. A nearly murdered boy named Nick (Justin Chatwin, Weeds) comes back to `life' ...but doesn't. He's a ghost of himself but doesn't know why, nor does the viewing audience. Perhaps he's being taught some ethereal lesson? Who knows?
Second is the hot-tough-chick who `kills' Nick named Annie (Margarita Levieva). She's battling demons both in her private life and her school, finding trouble wherever it may lay. And when she thinks she's killed Nick, she suddenly grows a conscious. Why she does is, again, unclear. But, oh, there's the fact that this troubled girl who `killed' this fellow school mate can suddenly hear him, too. Again, we're unsure why this is. One would think that Nick's mom (Marcia Gay Harden, Into the Wild) would be the one to hear her own son. After all, she has a genetic connection to him and would probably be the one most likely to hear his near-death pleas. But ...no.
Third is the woefully lame ending. Why Nick's mother would allow his would-be killer into his hospital room is beyond ludicrous. And the fact that she laid down and `poof!' Nick is once again `alive' is pure schlock to the highest degree.
One would think that Director David S. Goyer would come up with something powerful and moving, especially when you consider he did some amazing writing work on films such as Dark City, Blade and Batman Begins. But ...no. I guess they all can't be winners. I bet Mr. Goyer wishes he were invisible after the release of this mess.
P.S. Also, when some guys move Nick's 'body', it makes ZERO sense since they leave it out in the open versus where it was, which was a place that had already been searched and was hidden from view."
The invisible part was the thrilling part
M. Hennessey | 10/15/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The movie was not intriguing. It was a good story but I was throughly unimpressed with the lack of suspense. They billed it as a thriller but should have billed it as an out-of-body love story. They duped people into wasting their time. It was predictable and kind of stupid at times. Miraculous that she was shot and was able to make it to the hospital, that the guy who shot her was such a bad shot for a career criminal, when she shot him he automatically died and the guy who nearly dies forgives the girl who tried to kill him? If the police could have the dam shut off why didn't they do it to start with. I could go on and on. It is like horror movies when they go outside. I was continually scratching my head as to why they would do that. If you haven't seen this movie don't unless you want to see a crappy unrealistic love story. Yes I know it was a movie but I can only suspend my belief so so much."
Not just a thriller
lovidentity | Houston, TX | 04/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're going to watch this movie expecting some scary moments and hair raising suspense, then you'll be disappointed. This film has more depth than that and isn't really a horror film. I'd say that the film is more similar to Donnie Darko than Ghost. I personally thought that this film was beautiful in the way it portrayed the detachment of the two characters (Nick and Annie) from their surroundings. Nick, who had lost his father and lives with an emotionally suppressed mother, lives in a grand house and is an honor roll student. His one and only friend ends up causing Nick's near death experience. In contrast, Annie lives with an uncaring family (with the exception to her little brother) in a low income home, and though she has a boyfriend and two followers, they have no loyalty towards her. Even when the two of them get in trouble, the schools simply dismisses one for being an honor student and the other for being a hopeless case. In effect, both Nick and Annie are invisible. The setting and atmosphere supports the mood of the entire film: the lonliness and isolation of the characters. Through this agonizing lonliness, Nick and Annie are able to communicate subconsciously. Despite the fact that Annie has killed (or put in a coma) Nick, he empathizes with her and the two bond spiritually. There is also a contrast of good and evil btwn Nick and Annie. Nick, despite his essay-selling little side business, is portrayed in general (esp. as a spirit) as a warm and understanding person while Annie is portrayed as a spiteful and evil girl. However, through Nick's soothing and sympathy, Annie begins to seek atonement for her actions. Overall, the film really is about being invisible, not only as a spirit, but also as to how physically alive humans can feel invisible through ignorance, neglect, or just lack of interest or time."