Griff: Before I tell you this, you have to commit to a vow of secrecy unlike any other.
Prior to going into Griff the Invisible, I had known not one detail about it, aside from the classy-looking poster and that it starred True Blood's Ryan Kwanten, who I am a grand fan of. Although it looks like a superhero movie, it is much more than that. This was a quirky, charming, and lovable romantic comedy. Even though the main plot does involve a masked vigilante, we don't focus much on the crime fighting as we do on the deterioration of a man who doesn't quite fit in with the world, and how Melody (Maeve Dermody), a clumsy and unusual girl can change all of that. If you are looking for something different, quirky, and charming, than this is the film for you.
I don't quite know why, but I absolutely adored this Aussie film. There are so many charming little individual moments of wit, humor, and delight that I can't help but smile at. Lets start with the main character, Griff. Ryan Kwanten gives a magnificent lead performance showing that he is well-capable of doing non True Blood roles. Kwanten has a sort of quirkiness when playing Griff. The audience never quite realizes if Griff is just plain crazy or if everyone else is. I found that both relatable and endearing to watch.
We've been delivered a never ending wave of big-budgeted superhero movies (not that it's a bad thing) and I'm proud to say that Griff the Invisible surpasses many of them, which is pretty surprising if I'm being frank. As I recall in my previous reviews of indie movies (except for Juno, that was shot like a Hollywood flick), I have mentioned that I love the feel of it. Again, this is a greatly shot film with a real indie feel to it, except a few back alley chase scenes, all being handled with great integrity. Even though it had an indie feel, it didn't feel cheaply shot at all (if that makes any sense). Also, Griff the Invisible is presented in glorious 2D (one of the only superhero films to be presented that way in a while), making it even better, if it wasn't awesome enough already.
Another cool aspect I admired about this was how the effects were nicely made. Griff's suit in particular looks very realistic when invisible and doesn't look all too fake. I don't have much to say about the director Leon Ford, because he has no previous projects, but I will say that for a debut film, he did a beautiful job, and I am looking forward to seeing his future projects. I wouldn't mind a Griff the Invisible: Part II due to the fact that they left this one open for the possibility of a sequel. Also, I watched this film directly after I watched Animal Kingdom, another Australian film (outstanding film, you can find it on Starz on Demand). I'm digging all of these great Aussie flicks, and look forward to watching more in the future.
I've always been a huge fan of superheroes ever since the 1989 Batman flick. It's kind of a no-brainer that I would adore this film, but I adored the romantic concept much more than the hero concept, which almost never occurs. There have been a few great "normal superhero" movies lately, most notably Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass and James Gunn's Super. This easily ranks up there with them, but is a double-genre as a romantic comedy with a twist, which is very enjoyable to view. There is one large difference between these three films, and that is that Griff, for starters is PG-13, and isn't as disturbing or intense as the others, but still very fun and sweet. Without spoiling, there are one or two scenes that may serve as too intense or seriously deranged, but most of those sequences are either in Griff's head or are played very fantasy-like.
There is a whole lot to be said about Griff the Invisible. Unfortunately, Griff is currently invisible to the public, and the only real publicity it has received was from Ryan Kwanten dressing up as Griff the Invisible at this years Comic-Con, giving away flyers. It disappoints me that this is not well known, yet people go crazy over a new Spy Kids film. For whoever sees this, it's up to us to pass it to as many people as we can and perhaps, someday, Griff the Invisible will be visible to the public and this can become a cult classic, because it certainly is a timeless classic in my eyes.