The Invisible (2006)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Supernatural Thriller  |   Release Date - Apr 27, 2007 (USA)  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - Canada , United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Derek Armstrong

The Invisible is a promising thriller that gets undone by its teen genre trappings and a general lack of narrative momentum. This last point is especially surprising, since its director, David S. Goyer, is a veteran of the comic-book world, which relies on constant stimulation to hold the reader's interest. But once he's beaten to within an inch of his life, Justin Chatwin's Nick also gets a giant shove into passivity, forced by his ghostly limitations to pout around and watch the action for most of the movie. This isn't Chatwin's fault. The young actor shows what made him such a commanding presence as Tom Cruise's son in War of the Worlds, doing his best to intensify a poorly conceived character, who helps dig his own grave by egging on his assailant. But Nick doesn't get to have the same interaction with his environment as Patrick Swayze had in Ghost (an undeniable source of inspiration), and by the time he does start effecting change, there's little explanation for how the phenomenon works. Another significant problem is Margarita Levieva's Annie, who is way too beautiful to be this kind of brooding outsider, even if she does stuff her flowing brown locks underneath a variety of hoodlum caps. The Russian-born actress has gotten down a flawless American accent, and lends her own additional credibility through a tough performance. But both she and Nick feel like constructs more than real people, ciphers set in motion to occupy the glossy visual space and lend weight to the angst-ridden alternative soundtrack. All this is too bad, because The Invisible does put forth a couple interesting existential concepts, fleshed out by some nifty trick camerawork. There's a lot to see in The Invisible, but ultimately, its substance is transparent.