Superheroes in the real world are quite popular at the moment, with Griff The Invisible being Australia’s entry. True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten stars as Griff, a meek, quiet man trapped in a dull office job by day, but by night he hits the streets as a costumed hero.
Griff is fascinated by the possibility of becoming invisible (literally rather than just metaphorically, which is how he is for most of his life), and is hard at work on a suit he hopes will make him completely see-through. Griff’s brother starts seeing a woman called Melody, although it quickly becomes apparent that she’s really more of Griff’s kind of girl, not least because she’s working on a scientific project she hopes will allow her to pass through walls. Slowly Melody and Griff get closer together, which ends up causing others to question Griff’s sanity, when his superhero dreams begin causing problems.
The film is essentially an indie romance dressed up in superhero clothes, with the requisite quirky misfit characters who fall for one another. Indeed to call it a superhero movie is slightly misleading, as it’s more a love story that questions why we should have to accept that reality is fantasy that better. On that last score the film is slightly confused, as the movie glosses over some aspects of Griff’s superhero ambitions – not least the danger if reality doesn’t quite match the fantasy – in favour of playing up the romance of two out-of-the-ordinary people coming together, whose quirks happen to perfectly complement one another. It would have been nice if it could have been clearer on how much Griff truly believes in his superhero alter-ego, but it still works.
It’s quite a sweet film, although even at 92 minutes it feels a tad slow. And if you’re expecting an all action superhero movie you’ll definitely be disappointed, as this is much more character romance than traditional superhero flick. While it plays with ideas about the type of people who would want to be a superhero, it’s not entirely convincing on this point and its romantic viewpoint is debatable, especially when you realise quite how much of a man-child Griff is. The performances are good though, especially from Maeve Dermordy as Melody and it’s clear this is a bit of a labour of love for all involved. That’s underlined in the interviews, where Kwanten and co. suggest the film means a lot to them. It may not be a complete success, but Griff The Invisible is rather charming.
Overall Verdict: A sweet, quirky romance in superhero clothes. As long as you go into it expecting more small-scale sweetness than big scale action, it should satisfy.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac