The Red Right Hand
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THE INVISIBLE
How Do You Solve A Murder When The Victim Is You?

Director
David S. Goyer

Starring
Justin Chatwin
Margarita Levieva
Marcia Gay Harden
Chris Marquette

Based on the novel by Swedish author, Mats Wahl, The Invisible plays out like a poem written by a moody high-school emo-kid. In 2002, Oscar-nominated director, Joel Bergvall adapted this story for the big screen with the fairly entertaining Den Osynlige. David S. Goyer is more commonly known for his writing, rather than his directorial skills; when he's good, he displays an exceptional amount of talent (co-writing Dark City, Batman Begins and Blade) but when he fails to live up to this, his efforts become extremely disappointing (for example, writing and directing the mess that was Blade: Trinity). The acting is fairly solid but other than that, everything else seems to be sub-par. It's not that The Invisible is badly made, it's just a bad movie. The script and dialogue are completely laughable, the characters are flat and the plot itself is predictable and downright tedious. The story opens on smart, wealthy kid, Nick Powell [Chatwin], who has become an emotional recluse following his Father's death, writing moody poetry and dreaming of being a writer. Despite everything Nick has got going for him, he feels trapped in a life carved out for him by his controlling Mother [Harden]. Shortly after this, we are introduced to Annie [Levieva], an uncontrollable bully with a less-than-average home life and a dodgy boyfriend, Marcus [Alex O'Loughlin]. One night, out stealing a car, Annie decides to smash a jeweller's window and pinch a set of necklaces. Following a fight ending with Annie walking out on Marcus, the ego-bruised young male makes an anonymous call to the police. Having recently brawled with Nick, Annie assumes he was the one who called the rozzers. She pays him a visit, has a group of guys beat the crap out of him and leaves him for dead in the woods. Nick awakes and crawls into school to find he is not just being ignored by his fellow students, he is in fact dead or dying - shock, horror! But there are no shocks, no more than there are horrific moments.

What was sold as a murder mystery evolved into nothing more than a poorly designed teen-angst movie with supernatural overtones. This film was advertised as a thriller but turned out to be something completely different, to the extent that there is a scene in the trailer which has been completely omitted from the film - depicting an old, blind man informing Nick that he's dead and no one can see or hear him, that he must figure out his own murder. Thing is, he already knows that, he didn't have to figure anything out; he just has to tell someone where his body is. Rather than running to the police and trying to make contact with them, it would seem Nick can only be heard by Annie and decides to follow her around, observing her seemingly 'awful' life. This film is not clever, it's shallow and pointless; there's no mystery to be solved because all the details are shown to the audience from the get-go. The semi-dead kid is aware of who killed him but no one can hear or understand him so his frustration is equally played out on the audience - not so much for his plight, more for our suffering, having to watch his plight. The kid from the wrong-side of the tracks is in fact a genetic mix between Shakira and Jessica Alba and not for one minute do you believe her crappy, poor-me sob story. This is nothing to do with her acting, which is incredibly well-done at times, more for the fact that the script is bilge in liquid form, frozen and sliced, then tied with twine to a cinematic reel. The other actors and actresses around the leads are just as 2D, if not more so and offer nothing in the way of memorable performances. The stereotypical division of rich and poor kids in the Pacific Northwest is made worse by the cool indie soundtrack that seems to serve no other purpose than pleasing the 13 year old girls in the audience.

I have to confess, I enjoyed 1990's Ghost; sure, it's stupid and has one of the worst sex scenes ever but it was original, it won two Oscars and it entertained me (and Whoopi Goldberg was funny... and I usually hate Whoopi Goldberg). This film wants to be Ghost but Ghost for teenagers. The Invisible desperately tries to rub shoulders with this and other ghost-related love-story flicks but does a poor job. Too much of that crappy dark poetry and 'nobody understands me' mentality brings down what could have been a great supernatural thriller. The only thing going for this film is the sparse visual effects, the two leads and the soundtrack (if you like that sort of thing, if you don't it will infuriate the hell out of you, like it did me). I would recommend watching The Invisible if you like your broody teen flicks but there's little other than substance in this overly disappointing release.

Release Date:
US - 27th April 2007
UK - 13th September 2007

The Scene To Look Out For:
**This may be considered a spoiler and could ruin the film for many, so feel free to skip this part if necessary**
Having discovered the whereabouts of his body - yeah, it would appear they moved the body, to stop Annie doing 'the honest thing' - Nick starts to bring his own corpse out of the water, screaming, "Somebody help me!" Hmm... A ghost hauling his own corpse; something about that sentence just seems wrong and watching it on-screen made me think the same thing. Well acted but poorly conceived.

Notable Characters:
The Cylon cop? I actually enjoyed Chatwin's performance. I enjoyed his performance in War of the Worlds too - despite the really REALLY awful ending that ruined the whole thing for me and for the fact that his character was a whining monkey every time the military showed up - but it's not nearly enough to save this nonsense.

Highlighted Quote:
"Don't worry mum, this won't change a thing for you"

In A Few Words:
"I watched the trailer and wanted it to be good but I'm afraid this is an all-round very disappointing release"

Total Score:
4/10


Matthew Stogdon