Title: Griff the Invisible
Director: Leon Ford
Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Maeve Dermody (‘Black Water,’ ‘Beautiful Kate’), Patrick Brammall (TV’s ‘Home and Away’)
People often idolize, and want to become, superheroes for their powers and strength. The fans often forget that the superheroes’ goal and true purpose is to protect and save the public. However, main character Griff in the new Australian film ‘Griff the Invisible’ sets himself apart from other superhero admirers, as he wants to emulate the good the costumed crime fighters set out to do. He doesn’t mind what other people think of him, as long as he can protect those who are in danger.
‘Griff the Invisible’ follows the title character (played by Ryan Kwanten), a shy office worker whose co-workers only pay attention to him when they’re bullying him. At night, Griff escapes his mundane, ordinary life by pretending that he’s an imaginary superhero who helps protect innocent victims of crime. Griff’s brother Tim (portrayed by Patrick Brammall) and the Sydney police are trying to stop him from being a vigilante and taking the law into his own hands. However, he’s encouraged to continue helping people by scientist Melody (played by Maeve Dermody), who’s casually dating Tim but admires Griff’s childlike, innocent outlook on life. While Tim wants his brother to live in the “real world,” Melody encourages Griff to stay the way he is, as they have the same personality.
Writer-director Leon Ford brought a unique theme and approach to the romantic comedy-drama superhero genre with ‘Griff the Invisible.’ With the title character, Ford succeeded in showing that even as adults, people want to stay connected to their childhood. The character even proves that those who really care about us should accept us as we are. Griff wants to see the good in everyone, but feels the need to apprehend those who have an urge to harm others. He doesn’t mind how Tim, Melody, his co-workers and the police view him; he wants and feels the need to become the superhero that he looked up to all his life to protect those who need help.
Unlike his ‘True Blood’ character Jason Stackhouse, who’s known for being a selfish ladies man, Kwanten portrayed Griff as being sensitive, and wanting to help other people. Kwanten proves his versatility as an actor, as he shows Griff doesn’t revert to dressing up as a superhero for the attention. He wants to assert the fact that he believes in what he’s doing, even if it’s dangerous and illegal.
While ‘Griff the Invisible’ features a well-meaning theme, an admirable lead character and a commendable performance by Kwanten, Ford unfortunately failed to include any interesting plot-points to the film. Viewers are left waiting for a mesmerizing situation in which Griff can validate the importance of him dressing up as a superhero, but the moment never comes. It’s understandable that Ford wants to emphasize Griff’s ordinary life to prove why he wants to go out and save the world; however, the character doesn’t go through any life-changing experiences to validate his continued belief that he truly is a superhero.
‘Griff the Invisible’ is a respectable effort by Ford and Kwanten, who prove that anyone can change the world if they truly believe they can and put their mind to it. But even with the actor’s memorable performance as the caring title character, the lack of any true excitement and action unfortunately make the plot forgettable.
Written by: Karen Benardello