The Invisible (DVD)

Released just over a year ago in the US, straight-to-DVD release The Invisible has been stuck in limbo as far as the UK is concerned. Entirely appropriate limbo, as it transpires, given the film's strange subject matter.

Nick (Chatwin) is a promising student in a Seattle 'burb, although his apparent academic success masks a less-than-cheerful, EMO-flavoured home-life with his emotionally-cold mother (Harden). This parallels with Annie (Levieva), fellow student and local teen tearaway, whose broken home is the sort of thing documented in Nirvana records. The duo's same-but-different lives intersect when Annie suspects Nick of squealing on her to the police and takes revenge. She thinks she's killed him and dumps the body in a storm drain. Nick, however, is unconscious but alive and is now in limbo where nobody can hear or see him. With time running out to find Nick's body it appears that the only person who might be able to help is Annie. Because, you see, she's not the evil thug the world thinks she is, yeah? She's, like, misunderstood, you know?

And there you have the problem of this angst-ridden and whiny teen drama. It may have interesting supernatural overtones but, for the most part, it does the cinematic equivalent of hanging out in malls, stomping around and slamming doors because life is SO unfair. Quite frankly, instead of a DVD case, it should come in a miniature hoodie. It's a shame, because there's the germ of something good here. The leads are better than they need to be, it looks great and Goyer clearly has more than a modicum of talent - which bodes well for his forthcoming X-Men Origins movie, Magneto. But the all-pervading teenage navel gazing is wearing in the extreme, particularly when it's drawn in such broad, painfully obvious fashion.

EXTRAS *** A pretty standard mix. Goyer and Roum team up for a decent enough commentary, there's a handful of deleted scenes and, rather inevitably, given the nature of the film, two EMO-flavoured music videos. Precocious 12-year olds will love it. Nobody else need apply.

Neil Davey is a freelance writer who specialises in things you can do sitting down, such as travelling, eating, drinking, watching films, interviewing famous people and playing video games. (And catching the occasional salmon.) Neil is the author of two Bluffer's Guides (Chocolate, and Food, both of which make lovely presents, ahem), and, along with Stuart O'Connor, is a co-founder of Screenjabber. Neil also writes / has written for The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Square Mile, Delicious Magazine, Sainsbury's Magazine, Foodism, Escapism, Hello! and Square Meal.

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