Friday, May 29, 2015

Movie Review: Memoirs of an Invisible Man

Memoirs of an Invisible Man 
Starring: Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah, Sam Neill, Michael McKean, Stephen Tobolowsky, Jim Norton, Pat Skipper, Paul Perri, Richard Epcar, Steven Barr, Gregory Paul Martin, Patricia Heaton, Barry Kivel, Donald Li, Rosalind Chao, Jay Gerber, Shay Duffin, Edmund L. Shaff, Sam Anderson, Elaine Corral Kendall, Ellen Albertini Dow, Jonathan Wigan, I.M. Hobson, John Carpenter, Chip Heller, Aaron Lustig 
Director: John Carpenter 
Warner Bros., Canal+, Regency Enterprises, Alcor Films, Cornelius Productions, USA, France, 1992. 
Memoirs of an Invisible Man title

The story is based on the book by H.F. Saint. 

Stock analyst Nick Halloway (Chevy Chase) is a lonely guy. At gentlemen's club his friend George Talbot (Michael McKean) introduces him to perfect woman Alice Monroe (Daryl Hannah). Later in the evening Nick goes to bar and next day he has hangover. Nick goes to visit Magnascopics laboratories. Skipping a boring lecture, Nick decides to take a nap in empty sauna. A scientist spills coffee on equipment and Nick is exposed to radiation. When Nick wakes up parts of the building and Nick have turned invisible. 
Chevy Chase and Michael McKean
Nick Halloway and Michael Talbot
Daryl Hannah
Alice Monroe
Don't spill coffee on computers

Evil CIA agent David Jenkins (Sam Neill) wants to catch Nick and use him as a guinea pig and make him a perfect assassin. Nick escapes and tries to get help from Dr. Wachs (Jim Norton) but Jenkins kidnaps Wachs. Nick has to cancel a date with Alice, because he is invisible and having dinner looks gross. He goes hiding in George's cabin. Problems arise when George and his friends come to cabin also. There his friends talk behind his back. Nick takes a risk and tells Alice about his problem. Alice starts to help him. 
Modern architecture
Sam Neill
David Jenkins
Jim Norton
Dr. Wachs

As funny reference to James Stewart classic, Nick uses false name Harvey. Nick also uses bandages and dark glasses like Claude Rains as Invisible Man in 1933. Sam Neill pulls his trademark diabolically smiling villain role. Dary Hannah's role a s Nick's romantic interest is first quite small but becomes important later. Carpenter himself makes a quick cameo as helicopter pilot. The invisibility effects look still good. This scifi comedy is quite different movie in the productions of John Carpenter, having no horror and very few action scenes. Chevy Chase brings comedic touch to the scifi adventure. Still the movie is not similar laugh out fest as "Vacation" movies but more subtle in the style of "Back to the Future." 
Invisible Man in 1992
Nick goes jogging
John Carpenter
John Carpenter as helicopter pilot

Also when characters in Carpenter's films have romance, they are often in some way misfits or outsiders (Starman: romance between alien and earthling, Vampires: lovers turn into vampires, Christine: shy boy and his car). Nick is also a bit tragic figure, without family and his friends do not really know him very well so he is invisible even before the accident. Nick tries to maintain his morality instead of becoming a monster as in Paul Verhoeven's "Hollow Man." The movie has some slack moments and the ending leaves many things open. Not among the top of Carpenter or Chase films but still a greatly entertaining mixture of romance, comedy, scifi and thriller. 

Rating: Good


  1. Varsin vekkuli elokuva, mutta olisikohan siitä ollut ennemmäksikin jos Chase ja Carpenter olisivat olleet näkemyksiensä kanssa samoilla linjoilla? Miettien Chasen halua olla vakavampi ja Carpenterin pyrkimystä kevyempään suuntaan.

    1. Saattaapi olla että tuo epätasaisuus vaikutti silloin kriitikoiden nuivaan palautteeseen. Studiopomoillakin oli näppinsä pelissä eikä Carpenter saanut taiteellisia näkemyksiään läpi. Ivan Reitman oli eka ehdokas ohjaajaksi, joten jo alun perin studiolla oli mielessä tehdä Haamujengimäistä hassuttelujännitystä.


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