One of these decades, Hollywood will make an honest adult movie that explores the terrible things an invisible man might do. He could become a spy, an assassin, a burglar, a voyeur…there are many intriguing ways that it could go.
Do you know what an invisible man would absolutely not do? Sit alone in a cramped attic for days on end just to inconvenience his ex-girlfriend and sabotage her job interviews.
“The Invisible Man” is an ambitious thriller with some important things to say. But when it comes to drama and characterization, the movie fails at every turn. The 1933 Claude Raines version is still the best invisible man film of all time; this 2020 version is the absolute worst.
The movie begins with its one good scene. In a heart-pounding sequence, Cecelia (Elizabeth Moss) carefully escapes her boyfriend Adrian’s seaside mansion in the dead of night. We are on pins and needles because it is clear that he will be very angry if he wakes up.
Sadly, the more we learn about Adrian, the more ridiculous and less scary he becomes.
Even when she’s safely at a friend’s house, Cecelia is still living in fear. Adrian is rich and completely controlling. He will never voluntarily let her live in peace.
Even after he commits suicide, Adrian still seems to be tormenting Cecelia. She senses him in the house. It is driving her insane that no one else can sense him there, too. Writer/director Leigh Whannell wants us to feel the maddening frustration and emotional isolation of an abused woman.
I like the premise. The movie could have been really good. It could have been a grown-up version of “Fifty Shades of Grey”: with the creepy, controlling rich guy going a step too far. But Adrian is even more unbelievable than Christian Grey.
Elizabeth Moss was wonderful in “Mad Men” playing opposite Don Draper – a completely realistic self-centered jerk. Moss does her best in “The Invisible Man” but the shoddy script lets her down.
This movie needed a believable bad guy for us to root against and fear. Instead we get Adrian the absurd.
We are told that Adrian is a genius entrepreneur who got filthy rich from his inventions. Now he has built the most extraordinary device of the 21st century all by himself – without anyone knowing about it. Of course he publicizes it to feed his ego and his bank account, right?
Nope. Adrian fakes his own death and goes on a killing spree in a convoluted gambit to win his ex-girlfriend back. This is embarrassingly dumb. Even Dr. Evil had a more believable backstory than this.
One of these decades, Hollywood is going to make a dark, chilling invisible man movie and an important, honest film about emotional abuse. “The Invisible Man” is neither. And it isn’t even scary. Boo.