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   Movie Reviews: Shadowboxer
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Studio:
     Freestyle Releasing (1hr. 30min.)
Plot:
     Two killers have a change of heart when they discover their victim is pregnant.
Cast:
     Cuba Gooding Jr., Helen Mirren, Stephen Dorff
Rating:
     R
Bottom Line:
     ***

Coverage:
by
Laurence Washington

Cuba Gooding Jr., and Helen Mirren play assassins Mikey and Rose – a pair of May and December interracial lovers whose romance pushes the boundaries of incest -- because Mikey is also Rose’s stepson.

The two lovers work for Clayton, a brutal gangster (Stephen Dorff) who suspects his wife Vickie is having an affair with one of his men. Clayton happily tortures his victim with a broken cue-stick as several members of his gang hold the man down and pulls off his pants, so that Clayton can assault him.

Still not sure of whether Vickie is having an affair, Clayton makes love to her (which is more of a rape) one last time then hires Mikey and Rose to kill her. Acting under Clayton’s orders, the next evening Mikey and Rose go about killing anyone who witnessed the pool cue incident. However, when the couple reaches Vickie, they discover she’s pregnant and about to give birth. Suddenly the pro assassins who are usually cold-blooded killers when it comes to contract killing, spare their victim’s life and hide her and new born child.

Visually stunning, "Shadowboxer" isn’t the typical Cuba Gooding fare. It’s a strange and exotic character driven film that goes into taboos most films avoid. It’s a thriller unlike most films today in that it’s difficult to tell where it’s headed.

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