“Shadowboxer” is a cinematic drama released in 2006, staring Oscar winning actor and actress Cuba Gooding Jr, and Mo’Nique. Also in the cast are Helen Mirren, Stephen Dorff, and Vanessa Ferlito. Mo’Nique plays a crack-smoking character named Precious (ironic huh?), the love interest of a neurotic doctor in the film but, unfortunately, her on-screen time is limited, however, Cuba Gooding Jr is one of the main characters in the movie.
The movie opens with Gooding’s character as a child, and his co-star and love interest in the movie, Rose, played by Helen Mirren, rescues him from a belt-beating by his cold-hearted father. His father was about to discipline him after catching him him standing at the window crying, mourning the loss of his mother who was killed in the beginning scene by his father.
The story flash-forwards and Gooding, now an adult, is entangled romantically to the older woman who saved him from that childhood beating, however, she is now battling cancer. The nudity throughout this picture was blurred out by the editors, however, because of the simulated on-screen sex scenes TV ONE programmers gave the movie a midnight time slot because of them and the mature theme associated with it.
The plot line centers around Gooding and Mirren’s life as assassins, and on one last hit-for hire together they stumble upon a pregnant woman they were hired to kill, however, as Mirren is pointing the gun at the woman her water breaks. Instead of following through with offing her, Mirren orders Gooding to get items needed to assist in the delivery of the unborn child. In an unexpected turn of events, upon delivery, they decide to take the intended target and child along with them to hide them from the man who paid them to kill her.
At one point in the movie, it is apparent that Mirren’s desire is to have this woman take care of Gooding after she passes on, and in a twisted way it’s heartwarming. The plot of the movie is pretty strange, but as a writer I respect it for the imaginative creativity that bucks a predictable, safe, storyline. It may not be an Oscar winning piece of cinema, but it is entertaining drama.
Another surprise appearance in the movie, is singer/actress, Macy Gray. She also makes cameo appearances in the beginning of this flick. Her character is the best friend of the pregnant woman, but unfortunately she doesn’t stay alive long enough to connect with her friend again. Overall, I’d have to say to say that it isn’t the best movie I’ve seen, but with this talented cast of actors it is pretty entertaining.
Author G. D. Grace
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