Another masked avenger is reincarnated as a big budget movie. Idle playboy Lamont Cranston (Alec Baldwin), schooled in Tibetan mysticism, fights crime in late '30s New York while wearing a natty hat and false beak. He finds time to romance telepathic sweetie Margo Lane (Penelope Miller), whose crusty old scientist Dad (Ian McKellen) has just invented an atom bomb which is in danger of falling into the hands of Shiwan Khan (John Lone), conquest-happy last descendent of Genghis Khan.Director Russell Mulcahy turns out the regulation death traps (a locked chamber filling... with water, a bomb timer which ticks away during the climax) and the Shadow breezes through via nifty "invisible" effects. It evokes the conventions and charms of 1930s' pulp fiction in rather more nostalgic mode than Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, and adds little of its own attitude, although a sly camp sensibility (notably in the extremely chi-chi Tim Curry and John Lone as the villains) goes for snickering at the expense of tension. A pleasant, eye-pleasing movie but, after the super-heroic likes of Batman, The Crow and The Mask, the merely mysterious Shadow seems somewhat grandfatherly and remote. --Kim Newman [show more]
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Alec Baldwin stars as Lamont Cranston, alias The Shadow, in this big screen adaptation of the popular 1930s radio series. Once a gangster himself, Cranston now uses his special powers of invisibility for the collective good, waging a war against his arch-foe, the criminal mastermind Shiwan Khan (John Lone). Kahn has kidnapped the scientist father of the beautiful Margo Lane (Penelope Ann Miller), built an atom bomb, and threatened to destroy New York City unless a large ransom is paid. Can Cranston locate Kahn's secret headquarters and defuse the bomb or is it bye-bye to the Big Apple?