The invisible plot

Comedy Noir. Not exactly a genre that people are beating down the doors to see. Pair that up with Chevy Chase's box office draw, and we can see how a $40 million film pulled in a measly twelve in theaters. That kind of money, in 1992, basically amounted to an investment in the computer generated graphics that pretty much take the leading role.

Chase plays Nick Halloway, who manages to get himself turned invisible, quite on accident, by taking a nap in the same building a particular physics experiment goes awry, and not having known to flee like everyone else. Naturally, the government was behind it all, and the remainder of the film largely deals with Nick trying not to get captured by them.

There are holes in the logic of the film, both scientifically, and with the plot. But the movie's approach is to highlight the fancy graphics (for the time) and the easy sitcom-style joke. We're supposed to overlook details like, um, logic.

I called this movie noir, but it only vaguely qualifies. The morose voice over, as used in Double Indemnity and every film of its type since, is a dead giveaway of what they're trying to do. The key difference is that Nick's problems have little to do with his choices in the film. There's no femme fatale, no descent into madness, just a piddling little spy chase plot.

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