Shadowboxer (2006)

In order to get ready for Precious, I chose another Lee Daniels film, that I’m hoping will make Precious a better trip than what I expect.

A nasty crime lord (Stephen Dorff) hires Rose (Helen Mirren) and her stepson Mikey (Cuba Gooding Jr.) — assassin partners and longtime lovers — to off his spouse, Vickie (Vanessa Ferlito). But Rose, ill with cancer and on her last job, spares her mark when she learns Vickie’s with child. The unexpected twist forces Mikey, Rose and their charges to flee to life in suburbia, until the past catches up with them.

Now looking at this film from a person who has seen it all in films, I have got to say this movie is pretty messed up. When you have film with Helen Mirren and Cuba Gooding Jr. doing it, you know you have a pretty messed up film.

So anyway, all the critics I have read, all HATED this film. For me I’m going to say yeah its odd and kind of weird but really it does a good job with its material. It takes this unusual story and makes it a stylized, enjoyable thriller.I’m not going to lie there are scenes that get a little too out of hand, but after that I still was on the edge of my seat wondering what was to happen next.

I am not a prude and I can see how the sex scenes bring a grittiness that was needed to show the harshness of real life but nothing else about this movie reflects real life. The director almost comically twists the relationships to get a jolt out of the viewer.

Helen Mirren doesn’t quite act to the standard she could have. She looks like at times she just lost a bet, and was given a script to work with and just decided to mildly act it out. Cuba Gooding Jr. does the best job in this film as basically taking the last act of the film and making it his show with a powerful performance. Stephen Dorff, plays the type of 2nd grade villain that doesn’t get enough screen time to show how vicious he really can be, I think this was a problem but he could have done better as well.

The one thing I’ll also say about this film is that it shows these weird couples, but you know what that’s reality. I mean there is a couple of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Mo’Nique, this was kind of odd, but it still showed how strange couples can actually be.

Consensus: The over-the-top sex scenes and at points very random, Shadowboxer is a stylized and entertaining little thriller, that doesn’t get the best boot from its cast, but in the end is actually OK.


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