All reviews all the time! Home   Movies   Music   Video Games
4 DVDs 49 cents each!  |  Rent Dvds- Free Trial  |  Buy Movie Posters  

 Search Amazon
  Browse Movies 

 Browse by Genre 

 Other Movie/Video Review
Shadow Conspiracy

video review out of 4 Movie Review: Shadow Conspiracy

Starring: Charlie Sheen, Linda Hamilton
Director: George Cosmatos
Rated: R
RunTime: 96 Minutes
Release Date: January 1997
Genres: Action, Suspense

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie review
2.  MrBrown read the review no stars
3.  Walter Frith read the review no stars

Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4

Do you like massive conspiracy thrillers? Well, what better place to center it than right within the White House compound? THE SHADOW CONSPIRACY, which has all the canonical thriller elements, plays like a typical television movie. If you can't figure out all of the bad guys within the first ten minutes of the film, then you have not been getting your daily adult requirement of mysteries.

As the story opens, a big guy (Stephen Lang) with a silencer on his gun goes through a think tank killing everyone. Well not exactly everyone, since Professor Yuri Pochenko (Theodore Bikel) escapes out the back door.

Meanwhile, at the White House the president (Sam Waterston) is in the beginning of his second term. He did not rock the boat in the first term, relying on the latest opinion polls to form his every decision. He now has a speech he is about to deliver that will slash military spending and will propose other radical actions that he thinks are good for the country. He figures that, since he is a lame duck, he can launch any initiative he likes. Most of his advisers think the speech will sink the stock market and have dramatic, negative repercussions.

Charlie Sheen, who was so good last year in THE ARRIVAL, plays Bobby Bishop, a special assistant to the president. Bobby says his theory of governance is, "He who gets the first sound bite wins." Although he assisted the president with the preparation of the controversial speech, he will help the president's cabinet by getting the speech delayed and in the process will outfox ace reporter Amanda Givens (Linda Hamilton). In the cabinet are Ben Gazzara as the Vice President, Charles Cioffi as the Chairmen of the Joints Chiefs, and Donald Sutherland as Conrad, who is Bishop's boss.

The two stories quickly intertwine when the professor meets Bobby in Georgetown to tell him, "Something terrible is happening within the government at the highest level. There's an enemy within, a traitor."

This setup for the plot happens in the first ten minutes. Want to go out on a limb and guess what the "Shadow Conspiracy" is, and who are the nefarious fellows behind it?

Right after his conversation with the professor, Bobby is shot at and then chased for the entire rest of the picture. The "good" guys want Bobby to come in, but Bobby smells a rat, or rather a mole, or moles. The film consists of chase scene after chase scene with Bobby and, of course, the lovely ace reporter by his side. You've seen all of this before and better. If you come to the film expecting nothing and have your brain switched off, the film does provide enjoyable, mental pabulum.

A show with never a subtle moment has the requisite thunder and lighting. The music by Bruce Broughton has variations on the mystery music you've heard a hundred times before.

Sheen and Hamilton try hard but cannot save the show. Sutherland is awful. In one scene, where the tension is mounting, he rests his head on his shoulder as if out of boredom. You may be sympathetic with his gesture. The worse performance is given by Nicolas Turturro as Grasso, the NSA intelligence expert. Turturro's Grasso is someone you would not trust to have the brains to park your car. In a show full of implausibilities one of my favorites is that Grasso is able within seconds to redirect spy satellites positioned on the other side of the globe to begin looking down on Washington.

Most of the problems with THE SHADOW CONSPIRACY relate to the weakness of the script by Adi Hasak and Ric Gibbs. These first time writers have set up "numerous projects" according to the press kit, and this is just the first of many to be released. I sincerely hope the others are better. Director George P. Cosmatos (TOMBSTONE) adds nothing to the picture, which runs on autopilot.

Providing all the ingredients of a thriller is not the same as making a thriller. Nor will hiring a talented cast guarantee compelling performances. The show reminded me of my mother's fudge when I was a kid. She would put in what she thought were the right ingredients, but it always ended up being a thick, brown soupy concoction. She never did find the right recipe. Neither did these filmmakers.

THE SHADOW CONSPIRACY runs 1:43. It is rated R for violence and some profanity. The show is a soft R and would be fine for any teenager. There is not much to the movie so I can not recommend it. Better to stay home and watch mediocre television than pay seven bucks to see an unconvincing movie. I give it **.

Copyright 1997 Steve Rhodes

More reviews:    Main  2   3   Next >>
Lord of the Rings
buy dvd

buy video

read the reviews

In Affiliation with
Buy movie posters!

Home | Movies | Music | Video Games | Songs | | | Columbia House | Netflix

Copyright 1998-2002
Privacy Policy |  Advertising Info |  Contact Us