Monday, March 09, 2009

Revisit: Memoirs of an Invisible Man

A Warner Brothers film 1992

Directed by John Carpenter

Written by Robert Collector, Dana Olsen & William Goldman

Based on the book by H.F. Saint

After a freak accident, an invisible yuppie runs from a treacherous CIA official while trying to cope with his new life.

Horror master John Carpenter teams up with Chevy Chase in this bizarre effects-pushing adaptation of H.F. Saint's famous novel. Not quite a comedy (as Chase's presence would imply), not quite a horror film, and yet not quite a thriller, Memoirs is a bit of everything but not enough of anything. A fun film, but a weird one, it's not surprising audiences didn't connect with it during it's 1992 theatrical run. The tone is simply too scattered, and Chase too uncouth and indifferent a performer to keep it centered. I've always appreciated Chase's nonchalant style, but it feels really out of place here. Carpenter surrounds Chase with a bevy of quality supporting actors, but Sam Neil seems to be trying way too hard (it's almost like he's in a different movie), Darryl Hannah is just kind of there, and Michael McKean gets nothing to work with. The real highlight (at the time) must have been the invisible effects from Industrial Light & Magic. One year before Jurassic Park blew everyone's minds, ILM was tinkering with mixing CGI and practical effects on this film. Watch only if you're a fan of those involved, or have nothing better to do.

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