Hollow Man II is set in Seattle where scientist Dr. Devin Villiers (John Shaw) is brutally killed at a society function, Seattle detectives Frank Turner (Peter Facineli) & his partner Lisa Martinez (Sarah Deakins) are put on the case but are soon taken off it again when the US military show an interest. Frank & Lisa are assigned to protect fellow scientist Dr. Maggie Dalton (Laura Regan) who might be the killers next target but the job was one big set-up designed to lure the killer into the open by the military & Lisa is killed by an invisible assassin named Michael Griffin (Christian Slater) who needs a serum developed by Dalton to stay alive & will do anything to get it. Frank saves Maggie & together they go on the run from the US military & Griffin the invisible assassin who could quite literally be anywhere...
Directed by Claudio Faeh this was the straight-to-DVD sequel to Paul Verhoven's rather splendid horror thriller Hollow Man (2000) & I think it's fairly safe to say that Hollow Man II is nowhere near as good. The script by Joel Soisson has no real connection to the original apart from the fact it features invisible men & an invisibility serum, while the original was a tight tense thriller set in a hi-tech lab with a small group of character's & features plenty of Verhoven's sex, gore, sadism & spectacular effect here in Hollow Man II the plot is reduced to nothing more than a strictly average at best cop thriller told from the point of view of a detective who sets out to be the hero & kill the bad guy & if that wasn't clichéd & predictable enough even his partner is killed so there's a little bit of revenge motivation in here as well. Then there's the been done to death plot about the US military trying to create the 'ultimate weapon' through science & it all going wrong & spiralling out of control as innocent people start turning up dead & then they wanting to hush it all up as they try to rectify the situation. The whole film feels by-the-numbers, lifeless & a bit forgettable although having said that at least it moves along at a decent pace & at under 90 minutes in length it doesn't outstay it's welcome. The character's are fairly poor, the cop is standard thriller clichés all the way, by the end the scientist has just becomes a screaming female to be rescued type character & even the bad guy's are given little development with Griffin given no more motivation other than he is mad.
So there's definitely a large drop in the quality of the story & that's not the only aspect that suffers in comparison to the original Hollow Man as the special effects are fairly forgettable & there isn't even a proper scene where someone goes invisible unlike the original where there's a highly detailed & impressive effect where Kevin Bacon becomes invisible vein by vein & the two or three brief shots in Hollow Man II were actually taken from Hollow Man. The special effect are of the cheap variety, scenes of doors opening by themselves or merely the sound of someone walking or people having to 'fight' thin air. The only real special effects scene is at the end when two invisible men fight each other in the pouring rain & the rain drops hit them & reveal their outlines. There's a brief scene with some nudity & a nice opening murder as someone has their throat slashed with very bloody results but apart from those two scenes this is all rather tame & doesn't contain anywhere near the glorious excess gore & sex of the original. Not good in my book & a definite strike against it.
Probably made on a fraction of the originals budget Hollow Man II has pretty good production values although it's rather cold, dull & colourless to watch. Although set entirely in Seattle the film was shot entirely in Vancouver in Canada in order to keep that budget as small as possible. The acting is alright but the two main leads lack any charisma or personality, one time A-list Hollywood star Christian Slater only has about five minutes of screen time since the rest of the film his character is invisible.
Hollow Man II is an alright film if your looking for an average cop thriller with a few Sc-Fi horror elements thrown in there to pass the time but it's nowhere near as excessive or good as the original & you will probably have completely forgotten about it by the time the end credits stop rolling.
Review by Paul Andrews (firstname.lastname@example.org) from UK from the Internet Movie Database.