MEMOIRS OF AN INVISIBLE MAN. Directed by John Carpenter; written by Robert Collector, Dana Olsen, and William Goldman; produced by Bruce Bodner and Dan KolSrud for Warner Bros. Starring Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah and Sam Neill. Rated PG-13.
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Memoirs of an Invisible Man is a slick, witty science fiction/adventure/romantic comedy that manages to be successful on all counts. Its special effects are outstanding, and its admittedly simple story is fast-paced, intriguing, and well-cast. Unless you just really can't stand Chevy Chase (does anyone actually fit this description?) you'll find it enjoyable.
Chase is Nick, a stock analyst who has the misfortune to become invisible the day after meeting Alice (Hannah), the woman of his dreams. The accident which causes his disappearance is convincingly presented. And the same high standard of "realism" carries throughout the movie, making its off-the-wall storyline believable.
In addition to having to adjust to unexpected little problems (like eating without being able to see his hands, getting smacked by people hailing cabs, etc.) Nick has to elude some bad guys, headed by rogue CIA agent Jenkins (Neill).
The potential value of an invisible person in the spy game is obvious, and Jenkins will stop at nothing to insure that Nick falls into the right hands—his, naturally.
Hannah and Chase make a good romantic couple. When Chase is using his lighter comedic touch, (as opposed to, say, the sledgehammer approach of Christmas Vacation), Hannah's a good partner for him. And they both have a flair for physical action, comic and dramatic, that is well-used here.
A major strength of the movie is that Nick's situation isn't really played for laughs. Some scenes are quite funny, but the comedy just naturally flows from the basic premise; it's not forced. Some of Chase's fans, who might prefer more belly-laughs from his movies, might be disappointed. But I like Memoirs' juggling of humor, thrills and tender moments.
March 11, 1992