Griff the Invisible is another superhero-in-the-real-world movie (another at Toronto was called Super — look for it at theaters next year). Whereas the leader of the pack, Kick-Ass, had a dark sense of over-the-top fun, Griff is a quirky Australian film with a sense of loneliness.
Villains and Heroes
Griff (Ryan Kwanten) is bullied at work, but at night he retreats to his lair and scans the neighborhood for crime. When he spots it, he becomes Griff the Invisible, donning his rubber suit and kicking the tar out of muggers and villains. But Griff is a little deluded and his brother tries to look out for him.
Meanwhile, Melody (Maeve Dermody) studies physics in her spare time and believes that if she can align the space between her molecules just the right way, she could walk through walls. You can see that Griff and Melody ought to end up together — both have heroic dreams and it turns out they both have a mildly delusional personality, yet they’re both lonely and lacking personal support.
Griff manages to get revenge on his bully, but in this movie, nice guys finish last. Griff ends up getting fired and then beaten. He even loses his essence — his imagination and his superhero delusion. (That’s when we notice Griff’s rubber suit looks different depending on who is looking at it.)
Melody sees what he’s lost and recognizes that it’s too much to bear, so she sets out to bring him back over the edge, just a little.
Griff the Invisible is light and likeable. I empathized with the gap between Griff’s life and his dreams, but he’s so mopey at times that it’s hard to keep liking him — unlike Melody, who has just the right mix of beauty, girl-next-door prettiness, strength, and compassion.
Unfortunately, Griff the Invisible suffers from a lack of vision. Are we supposed to laugh at the deluded nerds? Are we rooting for them to get over their neuroses and become well? Are we supposed to hope that they stay crazy a la Kind Hearts and Coronets? The answer is all of the above, even though the outcomes are mutually exclusive. And that’s ultimately why I can’t recommend Griff the Invisible, in spite of some good heart and some funny moments.