Ryan Kwanten, Australian actor and star of True Blood, stars in writer/director Leon Ford‘s Griff The Invisible, as Griff, a meek, bullied office-worker by day and quirky, hardcore vigilante at night who wears a black, shiny suit with a yellow ‘G’ on the front.
Griff is fine-tuning some of his super abilities, particularly that of invisibility, when his brother’s new eccentric “experimentalist” girlfriend, Melody (Maeve Dermody), starts pushing his life in the right direction.
Griff The Invisible really isn’t a superhero movie. In fact, if you’re looking for action, this isn’t the movie for you. The film opens with a scene in which we are shown that Griff has superhero-like talents, by showing him beating up some baddies, but the rest of the movie barely has a second of him fighting villains.
In a world where there’s a new superhero movie every month that ends in a gratuitous twenty-minute action sequence, Griff The Invisible is sort of refreshing. The film’s real focus is on the life of a guy who spends his time trying to get revenge on the jerks at his office and studying invisibility. Basically, he’s a weirdo.
Ryan Kwanten is flawless as Griff, portraying him as vulnerable and sensitive when it matters with his boy-like features, while still making him a believable badass fighter.
Griff’s brother, Tim (Patrick Brammall), introduces him to Melody, who’s almost as weird as Griff and is as equally good-looking. She’s immediately attracted to the withdrawn loner, seeing herself in him. Griff’s introduction to Melody is the beginning of an uphill progression in which he starts coming out of his shell and asserting himself a bit more.
The misleading title of this film is just a cover-up of the embarrassing truth: Griff The Invisible is sort of a rom-com with a twist. It’s the relationship between Griff and Melody that makes Griff so likable, not the superhero aspect. Behind the mask, this is really just a far more creative, intelligent, and male-centric way to deliver the same old Katherine Heigl, girl-meets-boy romantic comedy.
Some of the film feels unfinished, like the sub-storyline between Griff and his arch-enemy, a bigoted tool he works with, Tony (Toby Schmitz), that likes to make Griff feel uncomfortable. The story helped to describe Griff’s character in the beginning, and becomes funnier further on in the film. However, it seems to end abruptly on a disappointing note. I would’ve loved for him to show up one last time and have a more well-packaged ending.
The ending in general could’ve been wrapped up a little bit more nicely as well, maybe showing Griff kicking some ass and taking some names. I know Griff The Invisible isn’t that kind of film, but, can’t we have just a tad more action? Even a campy, goofy superhero ending would’ve left me feeling more satisfied.
Despite its familiarity, Griff The Invisible is worth the watch for its almost-unbearable cuteness, invigorating uniqueness, and impressive performances. Kwanten has perfected his True Blood identity as Jason Stackhouse, a southern playboy with a big heart, and seeing him as an introverted, lonely nerd is gleefully fun.
Griff The Invisible explores the personal angle of vigilante justice, adding a unique spin to the superhero genre with heartfelt moments and relatability.