Hollow Man 2

Hollow Man 2 (2006)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Christian Slater, Laura Regan, Peter Facinelli
Extras: Featurettes, Storyboard Gallery

Directed by Claudio Faeh and executive produced by Paul Verhoeven, "Hollow Man 2" picks up several years after the events of "Hollow Man" in which a team of molecular biologists cracked the code for human invisibility. "Hollow Man 2" deals with the Pentagon secretly reopening the "Hollow Man" test experiments in order to use the serum to create invisible human soldiers as the ultimate weapon.

But just like in the original movie, there is a flaw in the serum which causes insanity. "Hollow Man 2" offers a reasonable explanation for why the serum drives its subjects insane. It seems that while producing tissue invisibility, a nasty side effect allows the radiation from the sun to penetrate the cells in the body thus killing them and the subject slowly.

Through a flashback we learn that Doctor Maggie Dalton, (Laura Regan) has managed to create a "buffer agent" which allows the invisible subject to stave off the effects of radiation poisoning. Unfortunatley, the military is trying to keep their invisible chief assassin now turned rogue agent, Michael Griffin, (Christian Slater) from being given the buffer.

Together, Maggie and homicide detective Frank Turner, (Peter Facinelli) are on the run from the military and attempting to find out the reason why they want their own agent dead, as well as trying to stay one step ahead of the murderous Griffin who is also after them.

For a straight to video release, I was surprised to find myself pretty much engaged in "Hollow Man 2." Make no mistake about it, this is a science fiction "B" thriller all the way. For being the most recognized name in the cast, I was surprised Christian Slater wasnt given a larger role, which despite not being able to always have him on screen as invisible due to the lower budget, could have been accomplished through the flashback sequence giving him more screen time before he took the serum.

Though the special effects are sparse for a lower budgeted film, the director for the most part managed to create an involving and well acted drama. When the situation called for the use of special effects they were well done though minimal. Unfortunately, when one makes a movie about invisibility, there needs to be more than just a handful of scenes involving invisibility. Fortunatley as I previously stated, the story kept me involved and when the action did occur, it was fast, violent and somewhat gory. If I had anything negative to say about "Hollow Man 2" it would be not enough special effects action.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases "Hollow Man 2" in its orginal aspect ratio of 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colors were strong while contrast was somewhat dark even in the daylight scenes. While blacks were deep, the overall contrast somewhat hindered shadow delineation. No edge ehancement was noticed, while some lite grain was evident during the night time scenes. The print was free from dust and dirt particles. Overall, the transfer was an acceptable presentation still managing to surpass broadcast quality images.
Audio is delivered via 5.1 Dolby surround and in some scenes the rear channels were nicely aggressive. All channels delivered a clean and crisp sound field with dialogue being clear and free from distortion.

Since "Hollow Man 2" is a direct to video presentation, the special features section was quite minimal though interesting. First up is the featurette, Inside Hollow Man 2. The director brought to light the difficulties shooting a science fiction thriller with minimal visual effects, and how the challenge was to use practical "in camera" effects as often as possible as opposed to CGI. Also included is a visual effects featurette which shows side by side comparisons of green screen usage and the finished product. Rounding out the disc is a storyboard to scene featurette along with a storyboard gallery.

Though not as intense, exciting and effects laden as the original "Hollow Man," this follow up was a decent attempt to further the story on a lower budget as well as leaving the ending to "Hollow Man 2" definately open for a possible sequel. If you liked the original Hollow Man or you're just a fan of movies dealing with invisibilty, "Hollow Man 2" may be worth checking out as a rental.