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The Shadow (1994)

The Shadow (1994)


Alec Baldwin
John Lone
Penelope Ann Miller
Peter Boyle
Ian McKellen

Directed by Russell Mulcahy

Before the whole cinematic universe of Marvel and D.C. they have been many other adaptations of superheroes which were done in the 90s. Some of which, like this movie here was based on a character that did not exist in neither the Marvel or D.C. universe at that time.

Based on the pulp fiction character of the same name created in 1931 by Walter B. Gibson the movie summary plot goes. The Shadow a somewhat gun blaring superhero detective who mostly deals with kingpins and gangs. In this movie he has to come face to face with an evil who has powers beyond his own.
The Shadow is a skilled in marksmanship and hand-to-hand combat. He also has the power to cloud people's mind and make his presence invisible. He can hypnotize and possess some level of telekinesis.

As a whole, the movie for me is fun for the below reasons:
The musical score by Jerry Goldsmith is to be admired, they were well crafted to suit each scene. Another plus of this movie is the CGI, at every point of the movie, the graphics does not fail to deliver. And one that comes to mind is when The Shadow has to step out from the wall, when his coat was pinned, done well.

The movie main plot starts in Tibet, where we get to see how Lamont Cranston (Alec Baldwin) became The Shadow and moved to New York after seven years disappearance from all who knew him. He is wealthy, lives alone and does not work.
Everything about him seems fine, his identity was safe and he had control over things in New York. All that changed when he met his love interest Margo Lane (Penelope Ann Miller). Her presence in his life and the emergence of a new evil beyond the Shadows own powers threatens the world. He is the man who has to stop this evil and end it.

The pitfalls of the movie is the writing (storyline). Which you begin to notice in the movie’s first opening scene, where we get to see how Cranston became The Shadow. Even for a movie done in the 90s, The Shadow has a very silly initial ten minutes, which can make anyone not want to see what follows. This did not change of some sort later on, even though the visual style has you glued, the writing at times makes you wish someone else had control of it.
Then another waste in the movie is the villain and everyone in the realm of evil in the movie. Regardless of how powerful the movie would have want to make them seem, their presence did not portray that on screen.
Casting Alec Baldwin would have first felt like a miss-cast in the initial ten minutes of the origin story in Tibet, because his portrayal of a lost soul was nonsense. The moment we have him back in New York, wearing suits and playing the superhero The Shadow, his acting power and presence shined.

This is the movie that made Alec Baldwin shy away from A-list movies, and stick to B-movies instead. This was because the movie did poorly in the box office and was not well received.

For nice visual style, cinematic excellence and amazing score, this movie is a keeper. That said, the lack of good writing makes this movie drop from being a classic to fine movie to see.


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