MOVIE REVIEW: Shadowboxer-2005
Mikey (Cuba Gooding Jr) and Rose (Helen Mirren) are an assassin team, lovers and last, but not least, stepmother and stepson. Mikey is a man-child who is totally dependent on Rose for guidance. Their relationship is reaching a crossroads because Rose is dying of cancer and she's fearful of Mikey being left alone. They primarily work for sadistic crime lord Clayton (Stephen Dorff) and their orders are given to them by a wheel-chair bound man. Clayton contracts them to kill his wife Vicki, whom Clayton suspects of cheating on him with one of his associates. Mikey and Rose arrive at Clayton's mansion to carry out the orders but Rose changes her mind when she discovers that Vicki is pregnant, and then goes into labor once she discovers she's a marked woman. Rose and Mikey help deliver the baby and then flee with mother and child. They contact shady, young doctor Don (Joseph Gordon Levitt) and his cokehead nurse/girlfriend Precious (Mo'Nique) to examine mother and child to ensure that both are OK. Mikey and Rose relocate with Vicki and her son to a house in suburbs and together they become a make-shift family. Meanwhile, the duo continue doing assignments for Clayton while he continues his reign of terror, unbeknownst to him that his wife and child are alive and living right under his nose. After Rose's death, it is Mikey's job to carry out her wishes of protecting Vicki and her son. Will Mikey be able to fulfill Rose's dying wish to protect mother and son or will he have to dig graves next to Rose to plant them in? No more spoilers from me y'all!
I have waited and waited, and waited some more for this film. When finally released, it never reached theaters here and I was so bummed out about that. I had to wait until the official DVD came out. Let me start off by saying this film was without a doubt worth the wait. I cannot express how awesome I thought this movie was. After it was over, I stood up in my living room and cheered. Cuba Gooding Jr. has redeemed himself in my eyes. For me, this was his greatest role since Boyz in the Hood. He was a cold-blooded killing machine, rendered emotionless due to a traumatic childhood. Helen Mirren is my Ms. Jenkins! She is so gosh-darn beautiful and a very talented actress. The relationship between her character and Cuba's was believeable, the incestuous undertones do not distract from their on-screen chemistry. The sex scenes between them were HOT! Who knew Cuba had such a banging body? Stephen Dorff plays an excellent bad guy, he's my favorite villain from the Blade series. My girl Mo'Nique did the damn thing in her first serious role, I hope this will set a new trend for her instead of always playing the comic foil. Joseph-Gordon Levitt is becoming an Indie movie darling, I wasn't a fan of 3rd Rock From the Sun but I'm certainly impressed by his acting abilities. I really appreciated the director's vision of pairing up unlikely couples; older White Helen Mirren with younger African American Cuba Gooding Jr. made the story much more interesting. The cinematography was excellent. The phenonmenal Vivienne Westwood was responsible for the wardrobe and boy were Helen and Cuba were sharp!!! This film is not for the faint of heart, it is brutal and honest. It contains nudity, drug use, and foul language.
VERDICT: 4 Soul Claps (without a doubt)
Labels: Movie Reviews