Directed By: John Carpenter
Screenplay By: Robert Collector, Dana Olsen, William Goldman
Based on the novel by H.F. Saint
Produced By: Bruce Bodner, Dan Kolsrud
Cast: Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah, Sam Neill, Patricia Heaton, Michael McKean
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 99 minutes
Review Date: November 27, 2010
Like most Chevy Chase movies from the ’90s, Memoirs of an Invisible Man is insanely entertaining, mainly thanks to Mr. Chase. While we may not always see Chase, we always hear his voice and can imagine those infamous facial expressions we’ve all come to know and love over the years.
Nick Halloway (Chase) just suffered a terrible fate. You know in the SceneIt? Board game they have the category where they remove the actor’s from the scene but leave all the clothes? That’s kind of like Halloway. After a building explosion, he is rendered invisible. He literally has become transparent, causing no one to see him unless he’s cloaked in clothes (other than the ones from the scene of the explosion) or caked in makeup.
It’s the kind of power everyone wishes for at one time: If only I were invisible… Halloway just became the envy of every person, yet he shows the viewer the hardships of this fate. A few of my favorite scenes are the cab (where Halloway uses another body to get around), eating Chinese food (with tongs and attempting to find his mouth), and running scenes (where he makes sure to accessorize with a sweat guard).
The movie has some action packed in to keep viewers engaged and touches on elements of sci-fi, suspense, and comedy. A write-up in The Los Angeles Times said Chase looked to this film as some dramatic relief from the comedy realm, though I thought the film was still immensely funny and entertaining.
Daryl Hannah costars as Alice Monroe, Halloway’s love interest, making her the envy of all children everywhere as her imaginary friend can really become real when she puts makeup on his face. It’s like Frosty the Snowman constantly wearing his magic hat — well, an invisible Frosty the Snowman.
Chase does a superb job really letting viewers see through Halloway and under his superficial outlook on life. You see a man who had it all, loses it all, and questions what his life was really supposed to look like.
Another character worth mentioning is David Jenkins (Sam Neill), the CIA op controlling the experiment-gone-badly that caused Halloway’s invisibility. Jenkins is desperate to find Halloway to study and learn more about this invisible substance. He’s conniving, charming, and insanely smart. The screen time he shares with Chase in his office ensures that even though he’s the bad guy, you just can’t help liking him.
Memoirs of an Invisible Man proves that with an engaging script, you can have a film worth watching despite a lack of a physical, visible main character.
Hanna Soltys is a green tea drinker and film critic living in Chicago.