The Invisible (2007) Review

The Invisible (2007) Review 1
The Invisible (2007) Review
The Invisible (2007)
Director(s): David S. Goyer
Actor(s): Justin Chatwin, Margarita Levieva, Marcia Gay Harden
Running Time: 102 min
| April 27, 2007

I’ve talked many times about movie studios and their false advertising, most recently with the “serial killer” thriller Primeval, which was not about a serial killer at all. Now take The Invisible, the new mystery/ghost picture from Blade creator David S. Goyer, the trailer talks about how Nick Powell (Justin Chatwin) had a perfect life until he winds up a ghost of his former self, but while watching the movie you know this not to be the case. And not to be a spoiler, but where was the crazy old man from the trailer that gives Nick the score? Unlike Primeval, however, The Invisible remains satisfying despite the disconnect between the advertorial and the actual content of the film.

So, the movie’s about Nick, a rather sullen young man that aspires to go to London and be a writer once high school is over. Nick’s friend Pete (Chris Marquette) has gotten himself into a wee spot of trouble by finding himself in debt to local thug Annie (Margarita Levieva) and when Nick tries to intervene, Annie takes a swing at him. But Annie has more going on than petty extortion, she also does a little B&E on the side and when the police catch her with the goods on her, Annie draws the conclusion that Pete ratted her out. Pete, in turn, puts the blame on Nick thinking that Nick was leaving town and not knowing that Nick’s over-protective mother (Marcia Gay Harden) has put the kibosh on it. When Annie and her crew attack Nick they think that they’ve killed him, but actually Nick hovers in a spiritual purgatory between life and death, unable to affect anyone or anything, except, surprisingly, Annie.

The thing I like about The Invisible is that it takes its time and lays on the atmosphere. I think, of course, part of that probably has to do with the Vancouver weather, where the movie was shot. The film chronicles Nick as he first goes about coming to peace with the fact that he’s died and then he realizes what his real condition is and the story begins to be about his mostly vain struggles to lead people to his badly injured body. The Invisible is also as much Annie’s story as it is Nick’s, which helps because this isn’t a Sixth Sense-style mystery about Nick not knowing he’s dead and it creates a much more intimate story between two people, whether they know it or not.

Of course, The Invisible is one of those movies where being a ghost means never having to walk through walls, or wear an ethereal bed sheet or do any one of a number of any of those typical ghostly things. From Nick’s perspective it always seems as if he’s manipulating objects, but of course it’s all in his mind and he’s not really manipulating anything which leads to frustration for Nick and some unintentional laughs for the audience. The performances are pretty good, but I found that a lot of the characters and situations are unoriginal and uninspiring. Even Goyer himself has described it as a “conventional” melodrama and through all the supernatural stuff that’s exactly what this is.

Still, my big problem with the movie is that the way it was sold to me is not the way that it actually is, and as long as you keep that in mind you’ll probably enjoy The Invisible enough. Just remember that the mystery isn’t very mysterious; Nick Powell’s life isn’t so great to begin with, nor is anything remotely vampire related.

Final Thoughts

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