Sometimes it’s fun to see what films another film cares to most. In one of the strangest groupings comes David S. Goyer’s The Invisible, which is equal parts The Sixth Sense, Ghost and It’s a Wonderful Life. As the comparison suggests, there’s some interesting ideas afoot, but there’s also a struggle as to which to direction it wants to head.
Nick Powell (Justin Chatwin) is a boy who’s set for life before he finishes high school. He lives the sweet life complete with big, fancy house and a big, fancy watch that came in a big, fancy box for a graduation present. He’s got everything a teenage boy could want (including good-looking girlfriend) except a father who died a few years prior. This has led to lots of tension between Nick and his mother (Marcia Gay Harden), tension to the point of where Nick is read to blow his own head off.
Annie (Margarita Levieva) is the girl from the other side of the proverbial tracks. She’s trouble incarnate. The daughter of a former policeman, she has turned to a life of crime and rebellion following the death of her mother. Now she’s all about moping, stealing things and wearing her hoodie. Annie goes after Nick after someone accuses him of ratting Annie out. A good butt-kicking results in a presumed murder and Nick is left for dead. Only he’s not dead. And his ghostly presence is left to watch his life without him and hopefully find a way to make sure he doesn’t end up dead.
There seems to be come confusion as to whose film this is. On the one hand Nick is clearly the main character. He’s firmly established in the beginning as being the man with whom everything revolves. But about mid-way through the second act there’s a switch to make Annie the center. The result makes the overall tone of the film awkward as both compete to be the main attraction. It’s not a matter of the actors trying to upstage each other but rather the script. Once almost dead, Nick’s story arc is somewhat limited. However, as Annie’s onion is peeled back, she becomes far more interesting and almost complex beyond her thug-life attitude.
Though it does feel awkward at times, I did appreciate that The Invisible strove to think different even if I did see it as a combination of other films. I’m not sure if Nick and Annie were meant to form a romantic bond from beyond á la Ghost, but there’s certainly a bond built between them. How a guy can fall for the girl who almost kills him is beyond me. Some sort of icky Stockholm Syndrome I guess.
The Invisible offers some inspired moments. It’s frustrating because it’s almost quite good. If only it made itself a smidge more complex. There are times of originality, but there’s also enough of sticking to the thriller genre “rules” that the end result is mixed.
The Invisible DVD Review
The Invisible‘s DVD release is solidly average. The enhanced widescreen picture (2.35:1 aspect ratio) is very moody in its dark colour palette. Sound is in the form of an excellent 5.1 Dolby Surround. Again mood plays an important role in establishing the film’s intended impact. As far as extras go, there’s 11 deleted scenes totaling more than 13 minutes worth of footage. All include optional commentary from director David S. Goyer.For fans of commentary tracks, The Invisible has two of them. The first is with Goyer and writer Christine Roum. Goyer dominates much of the conversation, which for the most part, breaks scenes apart. The second commentary track is with the film’s other writer Mick Davis, who flies solo. Davis is much more selective with his comments and has a very calm, albeit unstructured approach. There’s also the music videos “The Kill” by 30 Seconds to Mars and Sparta’s “Taking Back Control”, and a generous helping of previews and promos.
The Invisible Gallery