The Invisible (2007)

Rating: D+

Dir: David S. Goyer
Star: Justin Chatwin, Margarita Levieva, Marcia Gay Harden, Chris Marquette

Plays like an emo version of The Sixth Sense, with Nick (Chatwin) trying to avoid death after a near-fatal beating at the hands of teenage thugette Annie Newton (Levieva) leaves his body at the bottom of a storm-drain, and his spirit wandering the local neighbourhood, but unable to tell anyone to come and rescue him. However, Annie – for reasons that the script never quite decides to make clear – is able to sense his presence. Can Nick somehow convince her to turn over a new leaf and do “one good thing”? And can the director somehow convince us to give a flying fuchsia about any of the characters, and Nick in particular? The answer to one of these questions is yes, and to the other is no, but in the interest of not spoiling it for you, I will leave it at that.

It’s an interesting idea, no doubt about it, one that will provoke some discussion and thought as to what you would do in the same circumstances: the initial scenes where Nick, at first unaware of his situation, gradually comes to realise that no-one can see him, are effective enough. However, it’s botched on just about every other level, thanks in part to Nick being such a bland and cliched character, and in part due to Goyer lazily opting to crank up the bad indie soundtrack in lieu of trying to generate genuine emotion in other, better ways. The plot lumbers from predictable element to predictable element, and if you find any real surprises here, you need to get out more, and spend less time updating your MySpace profile and writing bad poetry in your journal.