HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Sullivans, The
Piranhas
Love in the Afternoon
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
   
 
Newest Articles
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
   
 
  Shadowboxer Running In The Family
Year: 2005
Director: Lee Daniels
Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr, Helen Mirren, Stephen Dorff, Vanessa Ferlito, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mo'Nique, Macy Gray, Wendy Baron, Shaun Brewington, Cullen Flynn Clancy, Tomy Dunster, Matt Higgins, Terria Joseph, Laura Kirby
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Some years ago, Mikey (Cuba Gooding Jr) was a child listening to his father beat his mother one night, and found his father's gun, so began playing with it. When he accidentally shot the bedroom mirror, his father came downstairs to see what was going on, and instead of being angry was proud to see his son handling the firearm. Now, in the present, Mikey is a hitman who has formed an expert team with Rose (Helen Mirren) the woman who used to be his father's girlfriend, but there is bad news on the horizon: Rose is suffering terminal cancer. This hasn't stopped them from carrying out killings, but their next assignment will prove to be one which changes them forever, and all because top gangster Clayton (Stephen Dorff) wants his wife dead...

There's an odd, feeling sorry for itself atmosphere about Shadowboxer that goes some way to making it less engaging than the filmmakers might have hoped. Scripted by William Lipz, it was the directorial debut of producer Lee Daniels, and marked him out as an interesting talent who could have benefitted from more finely honed material, as it was, here he got what on the surface was a straightforward gangster movie, but whose concerns ran deeper. In fact, this was more of a study of dysfunctional families versus unlikely functional ones, with Clayton the worst father imaginable.

This is what Rose finds out when she and Clayton sneak into Clayton's mansion and execute his criminal cohorts; she ventures up to the master bedroom and is all ready to off Clayton's missus Vickie (Vanessa Ferlito) when she can't help but notice one important detail: Vickie is pregnant. As she is on the way out herself, Rose can't face kiling off one who is about to make their entrance, and in an "only in the movies" twist, the stress of having a gun pointed at her causes Vickie to go into labour. Rose delivers the baby with the help of an unimpressed Mikey and a new family unit is formed, with Vickie the mother, Rose the grandmother and Mikey the reluctant dad.

As it is, the hitpersons must cover up their failure to kill Clayton's wife by spiriting her away to a hideout, and time certainly does fly in this film as the child's birthdays fairly whizz by. While that happens, Clayton's doctor (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) helps out and keeps their secret, while Vickie's best friend Macy Gray (acting about as Macy Gray-esque as she's possible to be) is bumped off - by the hired Mikey - for being too incriminating. There is violence and the rare scene of tension, but Shadowboxer is more of a drama, with Mikey living up to his newfound responsibilities, and the boy unwittingly following in his adoptive father's footsteps. The whole experience is strangely distancing, yet while the film may be a failure in some ways, it's at least more intriguing than many less ambitious successes. Music by Mario Grigorov.

[Metrodome's Region 2 DVD features two documentaries, a trailer and a commentary with the director and Gooding.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3420 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: