Shadowboxer-Helen Mirren Cuba Gooding, Jr

Shadowboxer is the story of a couple of hitmen played by Cuba Gooding, Jr and Helen Mirren. There is a lot of cold blooded killing of people left and right. But Helen’s killer is ill and not long for this world, so she takes pity on a pregnant woman and spares her life. The rest of the film involves a rather convoluted story of the hitmen hiding this woman and her child from her insane criminal mob boss husband.
Cuba Gooding,Jr has always been something of a mystery to me. He hit it big in Jerry Mcguire with Tom Cruise and it was a huge hit and everyone went around saying ‘Show me the money’ for months. So here was the next big actor, and the next movie I remember seeing him in, he plays a retarded grounds keeper. OK, worked for Tom Hanks, right? Need I say that Cuba Gooding, Jr is no Tom Hanks?
Still, he does keep busy and has like 50 credits for films and TV shows dating all the way back to Hill Street Blues. Maybe he just isn’t really leading man material. His in theaters now film of Daddy Day Camp doesn’t speak well for his choice in roles and neither does Shadowboxer.
Cuba plays a man with an arrested development who still likes to be bathed by hand with a sponge. There are plenty of shots of a nude Cuba Gooding, Jr. I don’t recall him ever smiling in the film, or having a reason to smile. Being a hitman is not a happy job.
I am a fan of Helen Mirren, having watched her on BBC shows for years and first remembering her form the horrible film The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover. It was a gruesome bit of business all around. But there is a chance to see a nude Helen Mirren, but it is not at all sexy. Of course, she was also nude rather a lot in an gruesome film called Caligula. And she has bits of nudity in Shadowboxer as well. Her list of credits has 80 entries, including the wonderfully campy Excalibur.
There are no good guys in Shadowboxer. None. So it is hard to have much feeling one way or the other for any of the cast of villains as they come to bloody and brutal ends. Helen doesn’t make it to the closing credits, so if your watching it for her, you can leave about halfway through. Cuba makes it to the end, but he leaves a trail of bodies that would make Neo jealous.
This is one of those movies that I am not sure why it was made in the first place. Who is the intended audience for a love song to assassins? It lacks the biting humor of Tarantino and it doesn’t have the high moral ground of Eastwood. It’s just bad people doing bad things.
I didn’t like this movie at all.

Jon Herrera

Jon Herrera

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.
Jon Herrera

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Writer, Photographer, Blogger.

Posted in bad movie, move review, thumbs down

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