Lee Daniels's, the director behind Precious, debut is an attempt at a thriller, but it's in the guise of an art film with all of the pretension and none of the art. There are long sequences during which the actors emote and look vaguely troubled, and the stylized violence that is supposed to look cool, an imitation of Tarantino. Even the characters are reminiscent of Tarantino, and Daniels's addition is a unmentioned and unexplained mismatch of romantic couples. The 100-pound Joseph Gordon-Levitt is paired with the ... uh ... over-100-pound Mo'Nique, and the thirty-eight-year-old Cuba Gooding Jr is paired with sixty-one-year-old Helen Mirren. The latter match is explained by an odd step-Oedipal complex, but suffice it to say that I think these matches are Daniels's attempt at liberal multiculturalism, saying that love transcends looks, age, and race, but it all comes at the expense of verisimilitude.
I did enjoy the performances in parts, especially by Stephen Dorff as the psycho boyfriend, but overall, there isn't much that could redeem this film.
A mother and her stepson have a romantic relationship while working as contract killers, but soon they learn there is someone trying to hunt them down.
I actually don't know how to explain this movie. It was a bit disturbing. But the story was really interesting. Helen Mirren was great in this movie. I really liked Cuba Gooding Jr's performance. This whole movie was something you felt kinda wrong for watching but you can't help to, cause of the story, and you want to see where it goes. First movie I have ever watched with Vanessa Ferlito I believe. Thought she was great. It's definitely a movie worth seeing. The characters had some odd love interests that surprised me. Not so much in a good way. Kinda made me cringe, but not in disgust or anything, just uncomfortable. LOL. I watched this movie cause it has some of my favorite actors in it. Turned out to be a little bit more interesting then I thought it would be, and some things took me by surprise, but its a film I would possibly watch again.
Despite the quality of some of the Actors here, this was a film that never quite reached the excitement we were planning on.
The unfortunate thing about this movie is that the story line is really really good. There's mystery, suspense, action, crime, and.... many interracial, incestuous, "mature" sex scenes between Gooding and Mirren. You see nothing more than Cuba's butt, but the vivid act itself is awkward and embarassing.
Cuba and Mirren also are very unconvincing as contract killers. However, the remaining cast which include Stephen Dorff and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, did exceptionally well.
Watch if your curious, but it's unfortunate to see a good story ruined by pointless sex scenes. There are plenty of more intelligent ways of conveying love in a relationship between a mother and her stepson....it's just sick.....
If it was anyone other then Helen Mirren as the lead, it might not have worked.
[font=Century Gothic]If you can get beyond the plot and some of the more outre elements(and normally I do have a huge problem with movies where killers are pictured as being cuddly but here it makes sense since Rose is dying and starting to reexamine her life), then "Shadowboxer" is a surprisingly intelligent movie with strong performances from Helen Mirren and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Stephen Dorff does certainly enjoy playing the villain. But regrettably the movie has a less than favorable view of African-American women. In the end, the film is about families, especially fathers and how they can pass on their violent ways to their children. Forget video games. Forget movies. This is how children learn about violence.[/font]
I was very impressed with Gooding, Gordon-Levitt and Dorff since their characters played wildly significant roles, and had great scenes to play out.
An awkward sex scene featuring Gooding and Mirren was almost difficult to watch.
The final standoff was well-resolved, finally showing the true nature of Gooding's character.