The Invisible is the first movie I’ve watched this year that ended up being nothing like I expected. The story told in the trailers for the film led the viewer to believe that when Nick Powell (Justin Chatwin) dies, his girlfriend can still hear him talk in her head. In actuality, the two were never dating and the “girlfriend” in the trailer turns out to be the one who “kills” him in the first place. You may yell at me for spoiling the film in the first paragraph of the review, but trust me when I say you don’t want to see this film anyway.
Nick Powell leads a life that is thought by many to be “perfect.” In reality, Powell is just like every other teenager—angry at his mother for not letting him do the things he wants to do, angry at not having a father and writing incredibly depressing poems to go along with it. When he’s killed by Annie Newton (Margarita Levieva), his body is dumped down a sewer where is body hangs on, half between death and half between life. As the “Invisible”, Powell walks the streets of his hometown and tries to aid the police in finding his body, all the while talking to Annie Newton, who is the only one who can hear him.
The film starts out with a lot of promise. Although the teenage angst, long hair, whiney poetry and mopey music bullet point the “high school” aspect of the film, it still seems like it could go towards a decent route. Once the film deters from the aspects shown in the trailer, however, it immediately becomes clear that this film with a ninety-seven run time is going to be much too long for a film of this nature.
The first major disappointment in the film is that the aspect of the film is completely changed from the trailer. No longer is his girlfriend the one who can hear him (thus throwing a “love” angle into it), but it’s now his murderer (thus creating a general haunting “You killed me!” angle) and it just completely throws it out of whack. The two have no chemistry in the few scenes they have together and for all the audience knows, they merely hate each other.
On top of the Annie and Nick sequences, the entire supporting cast is weak. None of the secondary characters, aside from Pete (Alex O’Loughlin), who we’re told early on is a close friend of Nick’s. When he’s involved in the death of his best friend, there’s a bit of emotion there, but the rest of the film squanders it with a story that is stretched on for far too long.
While I’m on that subject, I feel that this whole film could have been wrapped up within half an hour. We see a large amount of Nick’s life before he dies and afterwards, we only see people sad he’s dead and Annie running from the cops. There’s nothing new here; Nick learning how being an “Invisible” works and past that we don’t see to many new elements. It’s strange, however, that he will randomly show up in places; if the movie is to believed, he’s merely in-between worlds and he touches objects as if he were among the living. Why, then, does he appear behind a wall in between frames? He’s not a ghost, he can’t phase through walls. It’s just one of the many annoying elements of The Invisible.
As far as the annoyances in the film go, however, nothing can top the final act of the film. Not only does Nick suddenly not hate Annie for killing him, he’s frantically trying to keep her alive after she’s shot by her boyfriend. His voice brings her to the hospital where is body resides and she somehow returns him to the land of the living by placing a piece of jewelry her dead mother gave her. Then, instead of calling for a doctor to stop her bleeding from the wound, she just lays there on the bed and bleeds all over him.
Simply put, this movie was dumb. I don’t enjoy being misled by trailers, but I’ve never seen it result in such a boring and utterly pointless film. It’s devoid of any real emotion (no, Death Cab for Cutie songs don’t count) and what the actors give in their performances is hardly believable. As great a job as David Goyer did on the Batman Begins script, his directing efforts have been nothing but disastrous. I’m sure somewhere there’s an audience of 13 year olds who will find this movie believable and relate to it in some impossible way. As for me, it’s just a movie about overly-dramatic teenagers put into a situation that, while showed promise, ultimately exports itself into a giant waste of time. Skip it.
Presented in a standard single-disc amaray case, The Invisible comes with a chapter insert and animated menus that are easy to navigate. Trailers are included before the DVD menu and serve to do nothing more than make me want Pirates of the Caribbean 3 on DVD.
So by not enjoying the movie and by being a box office failure, we somehow end up with two freakin’ commentary tracks. Just what I wanted to listen to after watching this film—people talk about how great it is. Sadly, that is all that the commentaries (one with David Goyer and co-writer Christine Roum and another with co-writer Mick Davis) provide, a bunch of self-congratulatory bull about how wonderful it was to work on the film and the great performances the actors gave. I know they can’t exactly bash their own work, but they just come off as pretentious if they truly think this film is worth viewing.
A set of deleted scenes (oh yay) are included as well, with commentary from Goyer and Roum. If you were wondering, no, like the movie the deleted scenes aren’t worth watching. It actually makes my mind reel to think that this film could have been even longer that it actually was. They explain why things were cut and what they like about the scenes, all the while I’m trying to understand how there could be twenty minutes cut from an already overly long film.
A couple music videos (one by Sparta and the other by 30 Seconds To Mars) round out the extras. I’ve long since passed the time in my life where music videos are entertaining (the last time they were entertaining was in the days of Batman Forever when the videos contained and were centered around the film—not that I want music videos centered around The Invisible) and watching these just makes me wonder who actually watches these things…well, people who like this movie, I guess. Bewildering.
Overall, like the film, the DVD garners a big fat Skip It. I think I would’ve been less harsh on the film had the trailers accurately represented it; then again, if they accurately represented it I likely wouldn’t have wanted to see it in the first place.
The Invisible is now on DVD.