Shadowboxer, baby

Leave it to Videogum to inspire me to finish this Shadowboxer review. Or start it for that matter. Have you heard of this film, Shadowboxer? You must have, I mean, how does a film about stepson/stepmother assassin lovers slip under your radar? Seriously, how?

So yeah, Helen Mirren and Cuba Gooding Jr. play assassins, who are lovers, and also they're stepmother and stepson, respectively. Which means you see Cuba strip to a Nas song about aborting Jesus and then roll around with Mirren, and later he gets buck naked and they bang in the grass, the beautiful shiny grass. I ask again, why didn't anyone go see this movie? Add to the mix an insane plot where Stephen Dorff pays said assassins to kill all his employees after they watch him sodomize another employee with a pool cue. Dorff's character I believe is supposed to be some sort of crime boss, but his lone actions in this film are fucking and fucking killing. At one point he takes a break from banging some chick doggystyle to go yell at people in the hallway for distracting him, and then shoots all of them. How he managed to amass any sort of fortune and business is never explained.


Dorff is also pissed because said sodomized employee was talking shit about Dorff's wife, saying that he fucked her, or that Dorff wasn't fucking her well enough(I doubt that). All bullshit and rumor, but Dorff leaves nothing to chance and has his pregnant wife marked for death as well. Mirren and Gooding show up to do the deed, wife's water breaks and Mirren has a crisis of conscience. Mirren decides to save the woman and her baby, and delivers it right there on the bed. Good job, movie.


From there, Shadowboxer spirals out and around, with an unbelievable story where the wife, new born, and assassins all get a house together in the woods and live out their lives. Crazytown USA.
What's remarkable and makes this thing watchable is that every actor involved is game for anything. Helen Mirren should be phoning this in, yet she's all serious, doing the dying cough and exclaiming "I am evil" loudly, just in case we didn't get the themes. Mirren's character is indeed dying, which leads to her final scene where her and Gooding have missionary sex and Gooding puts a bullet in her head. And then buries her while he's still naked. Then he comes home and Dorff wife just says, "She's gone?(single tear)" And onward. My nod for greatest performance is Macy Gray, Dorff's wife's best friend. Her every scene is heavily edited, since Gray either couldn't remember her lines or was drunk the whole time.(possibly both!) Before you know it, she picks up Gooding at a bar ("Wanna fuck?" is her smooth line in), and he takes her home for a relaxing night of POISON!

So that works out pretty well.  

This film should be worse than it is, but I found the performances too engaging to dismiss it. But the entire premise is so ridiculous that my brain kept fighting itself, yelling "Bad!" and "Good!" at the same time. I give it two reds out of blue. 

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