That would be “Griff the Invisible,” a quirky Australian film starring “True Blood’s” Ryan Kwanten that’s out this month from Vivendi.
Griff sees bad guys everywhere. He dons a suit and patrols the streets of his neighborhood, protecting citizens from muggers and carjackers, while at work he’s much less sure of himself and a victim of taunts from the office bully.
Classic secret identity stuff, but there’s more to this story.
Griff also has a brother, Tim, who’s always been his protector and tries to look out for him. Then Tim meets and starts falling in love with the lovely Melody, a woman with her own quirks, including repeated attempts to walk through her bedroom wall.
So when Melody then meets Griff, they’re a couple of kindred spirits. And then the movie gets kind of weird.
Griff attempts to make an invisibility suit and sneaks into his office late at night to sabotage the bully’s cubicle. And he can’t figure out why people he rescues on the street are afraid of him. Or why the police want him to cut it out.
Meanwhile Griff is trying to dissuade Melody from pursuing him, despite his own feelings for her, because he’s looking out for Tim (for once).
I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say the film hit several emotional points common to romantic comedies without turning completely into a romantic comedy. It’s all firmly grounded in the movie’s universe, which is just a touch off our own.
While the film has its charms, I can’t say I loved it. It’s got a different rhythm than your typical Hollywood film. That’s not a bad thing, of course, but it does mean you have to work a bit more to get into it. And what you get out of it in the end is a little bit “hunh?” and a little bit “awww.”
It’s sweet, but never syrupy. My viewing companion used the term “enigmatic,” and I think that fits.
It’s all helped by the immensely adorable Kwanten and his supporting cast. Kwanten presents Griff as completely natural, a milquetoast with a heart of gold and a firm belief in his life as a part-time superhero. Maeve Dermody does the same as Melody, and Patrick Brammall has his heart in the right place as Tim, who just doesn’t get Griff but will always love him.
After a summer of “Thor” and “Green Lantern,” it’s nice to slow things down a bit, and “Griff the Invisible” is a nice little way to do it.