The Shadow

The Shadow knows!

Adventure Fantasy Action
108 min     6.011     1994     USA


Based on the 1930's comic strip, puts the hero up against his arch enemy, Shiwan Khan, who plans to take over the world by holding a city to ransom using an atom bomb. Using his powers of invisibility and "The power to cloud men's minds", the Shadow comes blazing to the city's rescue with explosive results.


John Chard wrote:
What's that in the shadow? The Shadow is directed by Russell Mulcahy and is based on the character of the same name created by Walter B. Gibson. It stars Alec Baldwin in the title role and support comes from John Lone, Penelope Ann Miller, Peter Boyle, Ian McKellen & Tim Curry. It's written by David Koepp who was a fan of the radio show that was re-run when he was a child. The plot basically sees Lamont Cranston (Baldwin) gain an alter ego (The Shadow) in mystical Tibet and with his new powers sets about fighting crime back in the states. All is going well until Shiwan Khan (Lone) shows up. He's the last descendant of Gengis Khan, and in keeping with that particular family tree, he's intent on global domination. There's a lower tier of super hero movies that have either been poorly received in comparison to the big hitters like Bats, Supes and Spidey, or simply forgotten on account of how bad they are. The likes of "Daredevil", "The Phantom", maybe even "Darkman" and this here 94 piece, "The Shadow", are rarely mentioned by the super hero fan. Perhaps rightly it could be argued? But in spite of the tepid and unimaginative plot, "The Shadow" is an above average time filler that's at the least visually impressive. The 1930s Manhattan setting is excellently brought to life by the makers, and a pat on the back is due to them for not over doing the special effects. It looks and feels pulpy, and really there's nothing wrong with that at all. The cast in truth are just about OK, either under written or merely swamped by the production design, they turn up and play the movie as best they can. Hardly ground shaking and not really pumping the blood as an action movie should. "The Shadow" does however have a dreamy quality that makes it worth a watch. Perhaps a sequel or a remake with a better story may just arrive one day? 6/10
Wuchak wrote:
_**Genghis Khan’s descendant intrudes upon The Shadow’s urban world in 1930**_ After some kind of epiphany and receiving training in Tibet in the 20s, Lamont Cranston (Alec Baldwin) fights corruption in New York City in 1930-31 as the mysterious Shadow. When the last descendant of Genghis Khan comes to town (John Lone) Cranston sets out to stop his diabolic plans. Penelope Ann Miller plays a socialite, Ian McKellen her father, Tim Curry a mad scientist, Peter Boyle the Shadow’s cab-driving partner and Jonathan Winters the police commissioner. "The Shadow" (1994) is a worthy enough cinematic version of the radio/pulp/comic character that debuted in 1930. The movie obviously borrowed from “Batman” (1989), which is ironic since The Shadow partially inspired the character of Batman, who debuted almost nine years later in 1939. Anyone who likes the Batman tetralogy, “Dick Tracy” (1990) and “The Rocketeer” (1991) should appreciate this. The best parts beyond the superb recreation of New York City circa 1930 are Alec Baldwin as the shadowy crime-fighter and the authentic look of the Shadow. Baldwin was still lean & mean at the time and has that dark side to his personality to pull off Lamont Cranston. Meanwhile the look of the Shadow is perfect (with a prosthetic nose). While I liked the movie, it would've been better if they removed the campy elements (e.g. Tim Curry) and shot for the more serious, darker air of the future "Batman Begins" (2005), which was obviously influenced by this movie. Don’t get me wrong, the flick is serious and dark to a point, but there’s some eye-rolling comic book camp that plagues the proceedings. Since Cranston/the Shadow is easily the most interesting character, more focus needed spent on him. Instead we get this jarring supervillain when the story would’ve worked better with a more mundane rogue akin to Marvel’s Kingpin. The film runs 1 hour, 47 minutes, and was shot at the Universal backlot in Hollywood on five sound-stages with a five-day mini-unit tour of location shooting at Ambassador Hotel & Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena and Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, California. GRADE: B-