“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” – Oscar Wilde. These words prepare you to enter into Griff’s (Ryan Kwanten) world. By day, Griff is a mild mannered office drone with a knack for attracting the office bully. By night, he becomes the vigilante Griff the… title not yet decided upon. Griff has a knack for gadgets and gizmos and outside of having a millionaire’s bank role, Griff does pretty well as a masked hero. He looks over his neighborhood fending off purse snatchers and rapists. The only problem is Griff doesn’t get respected by the neighborhood he defends. In fact, the police are on the look out for the masked man he portrays.
By day, Griff’s disguise is literally the polar opposite of his costume; to the point where the colors of his day wear (a yellow rain coat, black hat and black shoes) enable him to be invisible where he waits for the bus. His superhero outfit is worn underneath his business suit. This, however, only gives him a little confidence as the office bully wins every time. Is Griff simply playing the part of the oaf a la Clark Kent or is their more going on in Griff’s world?
Griff’s world is forever changed when his brother, Tim (Patrick Brammall), reenters his life. Quickly, Griff disguises his makeshift Bat-Cave (his apartment) to hide his gear and costume. Tim asks if Griff is still up to his old tricks. Griff swears he is not. Promises are made, but Griff enlightens us to his bigger promise: to protect the innocent. Tim brings his girlfriend, Melody (Maeve Dermody), over to meet his quirky brother. Melody has secrets of her own as she seeks to unlock abilities that enable her to phase through walls (a la the X-Men’s Shadow Cat). A moment happens and the two heroes realize they understand one another. Their relationship blossoms into a rarity in the superhero genre, a love story.
With any love story, there are trappings to the formula. They meet, fall in love, a miss understanding breaks them apart, and then of course they get together in the end. Griff The Invisible already has a complex superhero story in place and this added element turns the genre in a different direction. Melody is completely supportive in Griff’s nocturnal activities enough to ask to be his sidekick. It is only when the reality of Griff’s situation comes crashing down that the two fall into romantic peril. Is Griff’s alter ego bigger than both of them? Can Melody come to grips with her own abilities and insecurities?
Oscar Wilde’s quote at the beginning of the film is perfect for this film because it is a tale about the mask’s people wear. Griff is clearly divided between the man he is during the day and the hero at night; so much that Griff, now “the Invisible” seeks out vengeance on the office bully. Melody however hides from the world all the time. Her world is to understand her powers and remain outside of the norm. In asking Griff into her bubble, she does something she has never done before: let someone in. This responsibility and commitment is what lies at the very heart of this movie. Can someone love you for who you want to be or do they have to love you for who you are? A question that even Griff’s brother, Tim, has to wrestle with when he learns his brother’s secret.
Griff The Invisible is far from your summer blockbuster superhero flicks which rely more on explosions than story. Writer/ Director Leon Fordplacescharacter and story over one dimensional do-gooders and bad guys. Ford allows us to see the world through Griff’s eyes and believe in the promises he made. It is in seeing the harsh reality and the means to overcome it that make Griff The Invisible a different kind of superhero movie.
Limited Release Dates:
August 19, 2011 – Los Angeles, Berkley, San Francisco, New York
August 26, 2011 - Boston, San Diego, Seattle, Denver
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