Picks and Pans Review: The Man Who Wasn't There

updated 09/05/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/05/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Let's call this The Film That Wasn't There, and maybe it will go away. This would-be comedy is tiresome, relentlessly unfunny and a waste of 3-D technology. The big question is why producer Frank Mancuso Jr., who had such a hit with Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3-D, followed up that success with such a moronic movie. Steve Guttenberg is a low-level Washington protocol clerk. On the eve of his wedding to a snotty blonde (Morgan Hart), a stranger carrying a spherical metal container ends up dead in Guttenberg's hotel room. Following the dying man's instructions to get the mysterious sphere to "Runkelman," Guttenberg and his fiancée's comely sister (Lisa Langlois) discover a gooey blue potion inside which, when Guttenberg inadvertently puts it in his mouth, turns him invisible. In a flash everyone is after him—the klutzy bad guys who had been chasing the dead man, the State Department, the Russians (amusingly represented by Jeffrey Tambor) and seemingly every inhabitant of the city of Washington. The laughs are supposed to begin here, but they don't. Guttenberg, who displayed considerable charm as the football-crazed bridegroom in Diner, is left to flounder in this piece of nothing. Canadian actress Langlois is cute enough but would have done well to choose another vehicle as her introduction to American film. (R)

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