A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that even if they customarily take their teens to R-rated movies, they should think twice about letting kids see this one -- strong, pervasive scenes of violence, gruesome horror, and adult sexuality make this inappropriate for all but the most mature viewers.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Scientist Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) and his colleagues Linda (Elisabeth Shue) and Matt (Josh Brolin) are working for a top-secret military department, trying to develop an invisibility potion. Pressured by his superior, Caine tests the serum on himself even though he's not certain that it's in a final form. Caine begins suffering serious side effects that transform him into a killer.
Is it any good?
This disappointing thriller was directed by Paul Verhoeven, the Dutch-born filmmaker with a reputation for strong violence and sexuality. Like his previous films, this movie makes no concession to young viewers. The gruesome opening scene is enough to give kids nightmares for weeks. Immediately after, we see scientist Sebastian Caine peeping out his window at a naked woman. It almost seems that Verhoeven is making a point of warning parents right away that any kids in the audience should immediately be ushered out.
Even for mature viewers, though, Hollow Man is a flop. The notion of confronting the dark fantasies that might be unleashed if we could become invisible is intriguing, but it's never taken past cheap (and nasty) titillation here. Caine quickly becomes too lunatic for us to empathize with his plight. Most of the movie takes place in a cramped research facility, avoiding the intriguing possibilities of what an invisible person might do in the everyday world. The finale, in particular, is a letdown -- Sebastian systematically murders his colleagues to keep them from exposing him.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: September 3, 2002
- On DVD or streaming: September 3, 2002
- Cast: Elisabeth Shue, Josh Brolin, Kevin Bacon
- Director: Paul Verhoeven
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Run time: 114 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong violence, language and some sexuality/nudity
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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