It was embarrassing.
My thirteen year old asked me who the Shadow is. Lately he's been running around the house laughing a lot, mwhaha-ha-ha-ha. Maniacle. If I was a normal parent, I'd probably be worried. But I'm not normal, and neither is he. We live in comfortable worlds that we create for ourselves and sometimes create all on our own.
Somewhere, somehow, he crossed a reference to "the weed of crime bears bitter fruit, the Shadow knows." So he asked me who the Shadow was.
I immediately Netflixed the movie so we could watch it the next time we sat down to watch something together. I passed on the radio shows that I love because I didn't think he'd get it -- yet. He will.
However, I forgot how bad this movie was. All the elements are there, but they just don't fit. The Shadow's origins as a villain instead of a World War I ace, bothered me. And then there was the incessant need on the movie people to over-dramatize the Shadow's mental powers. I mean, telekinesis was never the Shadow's bag. Clouding men's minds was pretty cool.
There was also a lack of justice being dealt out to the tune of blazing .45s. The guns looked great, but there weren't enough gunfights.
The period piece atmosphere was dead-on and I liked it a lot. The look and feel of the 1994 movie was much better than the Doc Savage move from 1975. But the action was just so lacking.
Alec Baldwin was an okay Shadow. The suit looked great. And Baldwin was a terrific Lamont Cranston. He would have probably been a fantastic shadow if they'd gone in a different direction. But I grew up on the pulps and later discovered the radio shows. Those were truly awesome.