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when i saw this movie the first time, back when it was first released theatrically, i was a big fan. i was a huge chevy chase fan, daryl hannah was super hot and the effects were amazing. this film really appealed to the 13 year old that i was. i was also a year out from really knowing who john carpenter was so my viewing back then had no context in which to base it.
since then i have relived a few memories of this film scattered throughout the years when i catch moments on television. never the whole film at once and only short snippets when i did. so watching it now, for the first time since 1992, i am pretty excited. would it be good or bad? a waste of time? classic underrated carpenter?
well it turns out that it's not a terrible film at all. it's no classic, it's not anywhere near carpenter's best work but it's by no means a bad film. it's enjoyable, it's funny and the special effects hold up very well to this day.
chevy chase turns invisible and is in love with daryl hannah and is chased by sam neill. that's the story in a nutshell. chase is fine in the lead although anyone could of been in his place and you would never know. sam neill rocked the boat and stole the show with his evil (or is he just doing his job?) performance.
now, typical of carpenter, the effects and the camera work are exceptional. 22 years later and the invisible man still looks invisible and there is nary a bad effect to be seen. and the camera work is glorious i tell you, glorious. perfect lighting and stunning imagery elevate an otherwise average film.
atypical of carpenter the music is, while nt bad at all, nowhere near his usual awesome stuff. he didn't compose the music here. also atypical is the weaker than usual screenplay and the somewhat by the numbers direction. this is really a studio film where carpenter was hired to direct it. usually his films a are labelled as such: john carpenter's the thing or john carpenter's starman. memoirs of an invisible man is not a john carpenter film, it is not john carpenter's memoirs of an invisible man. no, it's a big budget studio picture that turned out better than it should of (because of carpenter) and otherwise could of been a disaster.
it's an enjoyable film, with some humour and intrigue and action and adventure. it never really stops to explain why any of the events are happening and it does have a few plot holes and logic gaps. it also feels like it wants to be bigger than it actually is. but still, you won't be bored while watching it, it does have some repeat value to it and like i said earlier, it's better than it has any right to be. but when it's over it won't leave you with any lasting impressions (unless it's 1992 and your between the ages of 9 and 15).
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