Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? THE SHADOW does.
In this movie adaptation, however, THE SHADOW knows nothing
because the movie, from start to finish, is just an exercise in style.
Now don't get me wrong, this is GREAT style. Think of the feel of
BATMAN but without quite such depressing sets. Think of BATMAN, but
with better special effects. Okay, you have now successfully formed an
image of THE SHADOW in your mind.
In the movie, THE SHADOW (Alec Baldwin) is fighting the last
living relative of The Great Khan called Shiwan Khan (John Lone) in New
York City. THE SHADOW is aided in this by his sidekick (Penelope Ann
Miller). All this having been said, none of it matters. The director
Russell Mulcahy uses the plot in the movie only to display and enhance
the mood and the style of picture.
It is set in the 30s, and high tech back then was a bunch of
pneumatic tubes. All over The Big Apple, down buildings and between
buildings, THE SHADOW has strung these pneumatic tubes which no one
ever seems to notice. His helpers send him messages through them as
the tubes all funnel back to his desk. The E-mail of the 30s.
Although the technical ideas above were quite innovative, the
script by David Koepp wasn't. He should have worried some about
character development and not gotten so carried away with the gadgets.
The lighting, especially the lights and THE SHADOWs (what else),
are terrific. The cinematography (Stephen H. Burum) is dark like
Batman, but here it is made to be more serious than depressing. Lots
of great Art Deco sets (Joseph Nemec III).
THE SHADOW gets a correct PG-13 rating and runs too long at 1:50.
Unless you are really into style and art decoration, I can not
recommend this show. No one acts in it. The actors and actresses are
all props merely to promote the mood. For the style I give it * 1/2.
Copyright © 1995 Steve Rhodes