The Invisible Man (Whannell, 2020)

So it falls to me to be that guy. The woke critic who points out that the film sadistically brutalizes women for 120 minutes of entertainment in order, ostensibly, to tell us that brutalizing women is bad. That supporting the film so that we can have more films opened by and anchored by women is only really progress if the films themselves are any good. That even as revenge porn, the film hedges its bets both by elongating the violence against Cecilia and eliding the “cathartic” payback against Adrian.

I typically don’t write up movies I just flat out hate, because those reviews are not particularly interesting nor persuasive. Plus, I tend to think if 90% of the world disagrees with me, maybe I’m the one who is missing something. But then I think, what’s the point of being on Rotten Tomatoes if you can’t say once a year or so that the rest of the film blogosphere is off its rocker?

I don’t really dispute that there is craftsmanship on display here. Moss is terrific, as she always is. The sound design and jump cuts are clever and effective, but it’s all in service of a sadistic premise wrapped in the garb of moral seriousness.

Most of all, this movie sucks because it asks us to cheer Elisabeth Moss’s character at the end when we know somewhere in our souls that her violence, however much it was justified, will haunt her, not free her.

No thanks.

P. S. @me if you must, but please don’t mansplain the movie to me. I get that you think it is a parable of domestic violence, or a showcase for Moss, or an illustration of what horror as a genre is for. The rest of the world agrees with you, so the only possible reason to want/need me to sign off on these interpretations would be because there is security in numbers.

9 Replies to “The Invisible Man (Whannell, 2020)”

  1. Truthen Tolden

    “So it falls to me to be that guy.”

    Great. Yet another person who identifies as male personsplaining why people should dislike films that sadistically brutalize people who identify as women, starring people who identify as women.

    The fact you point out your “guy-ness” in sentence one belies your subconscious, embedded notion of implied patriarchal privilege. The horse on which you’re riding high is no doubt white, but hopefully it’s gender neutral.

    • William

      You completely missed the feminist point of view with your “mansplaining”. It is not about domestic violence, it’s about women not being believed by men, it’s about men holding power over woman (the invisible man), it’s about calling women “crazy” when they’re telling the truth. Be more “woke” you credibility is lost.

  2. Mike

    Great review. I couldn’t suspend disbelief that the suit made him invisible or gave him super strength like Wolverine as he pummeled the law enforcement agents with ease.

  3. Mike

    I must have been buying popcorn during the part in the movie when it gave the scientific explanation of how the suit made him invisible (and gave him super strength like Wolverine). He was able to beat up a room full of cops without problem, was he also untouchable?

  4. Sasha

    I think the most poignant part about your review was the p.s. message. It turned me around on your review.

    The problem with your review is not the content, but unfortunately, the unresolved premise. We understand you are pointing out the irony of the message of the film, but what exactly is your issue? Do you oppose violence in general? Is violence in any film acceptable? If the film didn’t suggest a #MeToo interpretation, would it be alright? You don’t elucidate any further.

    “Most of all, this movie sucks because it asks us to cheer Elisabeth Moss’s character at the end when we know somewhere in our souls that her violence, however much it was justified, will haunt her, not free her.”

    I would disagree with your generalization. I personally had difficulty forgiving her for killing Adrian in the end; however, she is definitely NOT going to be haunted by her decision. The movie is literally about Cecilia being haunted, and finally overcoming what haunts her.

  5. Jack

    It’s not that you’re just overly woke, you don’t really address the film beyond its content. why in the world is someone like you a film critic? What about the fact that a man has his throat slit. Do you ignore that? Is Gaslight with Ingrid Bergman alien to your woke sensibility? Your review is a joke.

  6. Annie

    what exactly does “woke” mean? I think it means selfish people have tribalistic agendas that involve mostly people who look exactly like them. what about embracing respect for ALL people at ALL times? that’s “woke” to me. i have not seen this film so cannot comment on it. but everything these days reminds me a helluva lot of ray bradbury’s forward to fahrenheit 451 in one of the anniversary editions. pure insanity all around. interesting that president obama himself has taken on “woke” culture.

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