Picks and Pans Review: Hollow Man

updated 08/14/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/14/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Kevin Bacon, Elisabeth Shue, Josh Brolin

Ah, but there's more to turning invisible than just fading into thin air. As illustrated by Hollow Man's excellent special effects, it's a progressive process. The body vanishes layer by layer. The skin goes, then cartilage, then organs. So peels the human onion, until the bones themselves dissolve into air. Viewers may feel the same about the movie: Like, where'd it go?

Bacon heads a research team that perfects an invisibility serum. The problem, as he realizes after volunteering himself as guinea pig, is that the serum to restore full visibility still has some kinks. Stuck in a transparent state, he gives in to raging, homicidal megalomania.

Director Paul Verhoeven (Starship Troopers), whose best work has an edgy, coldly amoral perversity, seems to be taking this old story into unsettling new psychological territory, especially when the invisible man rapes a neighbor. Bacon next decides to eliminate his colleagues, including ex-girlfriend Shue, and the movie becomes a blood-soaked game of hide-and-seek in a high-tech lab. You can see the subsequent twists coming from a mile off. (R)

Bottom Line: Not outta sight Leah Rozen is on vacation.

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