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Rated 2.99 stars
by 1105 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
by Betty Jo Tucker

While hovering between two worlds, the main character in The Invisible must make someone pay attention to him in order to save his life. However, despite fine performances by Justin Chatwin and newcomer Margarita Levieva, the movie itself pays little attention to logic and ends up making no sense at all. Yes, I know we should suspend disbelief when supernatural elements are introduced on screen. But there has to be at least a modicum of rationality involved for this to happen. For example, while watching Just Like Heaven, a movie with a theme similar to the one in this film, I believed the story and the people it depicted. Not so with The Invisible.  

Granted, things start out very well here. Chatwin (War of the Worlds) seems at home in the role of Nick Powell, a teenager who wants to study writing in London. His piercing blue eyes register disappointment when his widowed mother (Marcia Gay Harden) refuses to support his goal. From the looks of the Powell’s stylish home, financing Nick’s trip to England should be no problem. But Mrs. Powell harbors higher ambitions for her son, who’s “so intelligent and well liked.” In fact, it’s Nick’s intelligence that enables him to secretly raise money on his own by doing assignments for other students. He buys an airline ticket to London, telling only his best pal (Chris Marquette) and his girlfriend (Michelle Harrison) about these plans, so they later believe he’s on a plane when he’s actually left for dead after a brutal beating. When Nick arrives at school the next morning, he can see everyone -- but no one can see or hear him. He will now have to call on more than his advanced brainpower to find out what’s happening and prevent his death.  

At this point, The Invisible unravels like a torn sweater, coming apart a tiny bit at a time. Nick’s spirit wanders around willy nilly in his search for answers. Because he can spy on others without being seen, he learns some revealing new things about the people in his life, but the only one sensing his presence is Annie (Levieva), an out-of-control fellow student who just happens to be responsible for his plight. Granted, she was egged on by Nick’s previous actions toward her and by his clueless best friend, but the complete change in her violent behavior is hard to swallow. And the conclusion to their weird relationship comes across as the most sentimental, manipulative movie nonsense so far this year.         

Still, with all its faults, I’m glad I saw The Invisible because it boasts the film debut of an impressive young actress. Margarita Levieva portrays the key role of Annie with an emotional and physical intensity reminiscent of Angela Jolie’s early performances in films like Foxfire and Girl, Interrupted. According to director David Goyer (Blade: Trinity), Levieva has to make a transition “from this feral girl who seems completely irredeemable and vicious to someone you feel conflicted about, someone who’s been hurt by life and isn’t all black and white.” Goyer insists Levieva is going to be a big star, and I certainly agree with him.

(Released by Buena Vista Pictures and rated “PG-13” for violence, criminality, sensuality and language -- all involving teens.)

Listen to Betty Jo Tucker discuss The Invisible on the ReelTalk Radio Show by clicking here.  

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