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Published:September 28th, 2008 11:24 EST
The Shadow (1994) film review

The Shadow (1994) film review

By Garrett Godwin

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? 

Before Spider-Man, David Koepp penned the film version of The Shadow.  Emmy winner Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) dipped into the hat and cloak as the pulp comic book character with the ability to cloud men`s minds in 1930s New York.  To some, Lamont Cranston (Baldwin) is a suave, dashing playboy with absolutely nothing to do.  But when crime strikes, he takes up the struggle against the forces of evil against as his dark, shadowy alter-ego known as The Shadow.

Some say he`s a foe; others like Cranston`s police commissioner uncle (Jonathan Winters) considers him an interference in police affairs; several considers him as either an rumor or an urban legend.

Cranston woos beautiful socialite Margo Lane (Penelope Ann Miller), who may have the power of clairvoyance, as he battles a descendent of Genghis Khan (John Lone) who is bent on taking over the world -- and the person who knows what lurks inside the heart of The Shadow.

Released in the summer of 1994, The Shadow was a critical and commercial disappointment -- canceling any plans of a film franchise.  Entertainment Weekly calls it one of the "20 Worst Comic Book Movies Ever". 

However, this is a good film adaptation of The Shadow, and Baldwin was the perfect choice for the role; he has the charisma, the looks, the voice, and the talent with it to bring this character to life.  This film is underrated and underappreciated, for The Shadow is a noirish antihero that walks the line of good and evil.  He is a much darker version of Batman that would have been fit in with The Marvel Comics Universe better: fighting not just the evil within the world, but fighting the evil within himself.

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?  The Shadow knows, and he`s available on DVD.