Disappearing soon from a theater near you, The Invisible nominally concerns the ghost of rich teen Nick Powell (Justin Chatwin), who endeavors to help police as well as his would-be murderer Annie Newton (Margarita Levieva) find his battered body before it expires. Primarily, however, David S. Goyer’s remake of a 2002 Swedish thriller of the same name is about the similarly neglected Nick and Annie’s attempts to be literally and figuratively seen by friends and loved ones, an undertaking the director stages like a clichéd music video. With virtually every scene doused in earnest and/or operatic modern rock, Goyer’s film subsumes genuine emotion beneath mountains of pretentious aesthetics, the summit being a moment in which Nick’s frustrated powerlessness manifests itself via a slow-motion walk down a city sidewalk that plays like a cheesy redo of the music video for The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.” Through his from-the-beyond odyssey, Nick learns that his aloof widower mother (Marcia Gay Harden) isn’t as cold and bitchy as suspected, and that Annie is more than just a poor criminal who likes to use thug henchmen to collect debts from students who purchase her black-market cellphone merchandise. Largely (and symbolically) hiding her features inside hooded sweatshirts and turtlenecks as she talks tough with Nick’s spineless friend (Chris Marquette) and her scuzzball ex-con boyfriend (Alex O’Loughlin), Annie proves to be a contrivance through and through. And consequently, the script’s focus on her redemptive realization that she’s more than just a two-bit delinquent—via her efforts to do “one good thing”—comes off as absurdly phony, and at odds with a refreshingly genuine early scene in which Nick furiously screams at Annie (who can’t hear him) that her mildly woe-is-me family life isn’t an excuse for attempted murder. Eventually transforming from a supernatural suspense yarn into something of an overwrought otherworldly love story, The Invisible is listless in conception and execution, to the point that the film’s most engaging question ultimately revolves around what’s concealed underneath Annie’s ubiquitous black wool hat—the shocking answer being, long brown hair.
- Hollywood Pictures
- 97 min
- David S. Goyer
- Mick Davis, Christine Roum
- Justin Chatwin, Margarita Levieva, Marcia Gay Harden, Chris Marquette, Alex O'Loughlin, Callum Keith Rennie, Michelle Harrison
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