Hey! I praised this baby, at long-defunct Mr. Showbiz, to wit:
"Like it or not, Kevin Bacon’s penis has become something of a minor celebrity, and those so inclined can receive, in the spiffy new invisible-man schtick Hollow Man, a veritable Baconian schlong variety pack: you see the member skinless (amidst body-layer transformations that explicitly refer to those “3D Human Body” models we had as kids), you see it through infrared glasses, you see it invisibly coated with water. It’s a good, dirty running joke, and it’s indication enough that director Paul Verhoeven is in fact the misanthropic culture satirist he seemed to be in The Fourth Man, Robocop and Starship Troopers, and not merely the lead-gloved idiot he seemed to be shooting all of those witless Joe Eszterhas scripts. Hollow Man, in any case, is filthy fun, if not much more: Verhoeven is still working in Hollywood, and the movie is predictably structured, punctuated with one-note dramatic peaks and fairly two-dimensional in terms of character. But Verhoeven and screenwriter Andrew W. Marlowe took the tired old chestnut of invisible-man movies and did something hilarious and even insightful: they realized that the scenario (and its invisibility = megalomania theme) always manifests itself in terms of voyeurism and sexual aggression. So, like Dr. Strangelove, Hollow Man is a nasty farce about frustrated masculine libido run amok in the hallways of technology.
It’s not the sustained piece of balls-to-the-wall mockery that Starship Troopers was, but it’s got its fair share of subversive thwacks... Confronted with federal interference, Bacon's Dr. Caine jumps the gun and in true Jekyll-Hyde fashion makes himself the first human test subject. The trouble is, going back to human visibility is a nut the team has yet to crack, and so Caine begins to go bonkers – eventually deciding he’d like to stay invisible, and free. His jealous lust for Linda turns into homicidal rage, leading to an inventive climactic action tussle involving a nitro explosion and a problematic elevator shaft.
Along the way, Caine stalks a luscious neighbor (whom he grabs and then – cut; we’re left wondering if he raped her or not), fondles Linda in her sleep, and generally struts around with a woody for power. Every genre cliche is exploited for its sexual core – when Linda dozes off in the lab and wakes up with a start, calling Caine’s name, she knows as we do that invisible men are the worst kind of sexual predator. (Once Caine is loose, the lab’s women don’t even take a piss without their infrared goggles.) Shot by Verhoeven’s favorite DP Jost Vacano with the same creepy, overlit hyperreality that Verhoeven has made his own, Hollow Man has a wicked, dirty heart, and that’s why it’s special."
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