The Shadow Knows...
The Shadow staring Alec Baldwin now first thing to keep in mind is that The Shadow has Two main canons, the pulp magazines and the radio dramas this film draws a little from both. It starts with Lamont Cranston(Alec Baldwin) after the war living in China as a drug lord named 'Ying-Ko' a bloodthirsty tyrant. until he is forcibly recruited by the Tulku a holy man with mystic powers and knows Cranston's real name. Cranston is told that he will be trained to fight the kind of evil he has been a part of and learn how to "cloud men's minds" so no one can see him except for his shadow the only part of his dark tainted soul he can't hide. After seven years of training and globe traveling Lamont Cranston returns to his home in the most evil den of villainy this world has ever seen... New York City.
The Shadow quickly becomes a bit of a local urban legend as well as a thorn in the side of the Police, specifically his uncle Wainwright Barth(Jonathan Winters). The Shadow's secrets are endangered when he meets Margo Lane(Penelope Ann Miller) a n eccentric socialite and daughter of atomic scientist Reinhardt Lane(Ian McKellen). Margo has telepathic potential she is unaware of so while Cranston is interested he must keep his distance because he literally can't keep her out of his mind.
The Coming of a Conquerer - Shiwan Khan(John Lone) another student of the Tulku arrives in NYC with plans of conquest. With the help of Farley Claymore(Tim Curry) and a hypnotized Reinhardt Lane they create a weapon of mass destruction to finnish what his ancestor Genghis Khan started, world domination.... unless of course The Shadow can stop him first.
Most people don't remember this one for reasons I don't know but it is one of my personal favorites. Alec Baldwin as The Shadow was a fantastic choice, he has the look, the charm and most importantly the Laugh. With the cast we have for this film(Tim Curry, Jonathan Winters and Peter Boyle as cab driver Mosses "Moe" Shervnitz) there is going to be some comedy but thankfully it wasn't overdone. The visual effects for when ever Cranston used his powers was something that really caught my attention, shifting from invisible to a smoky silhouette when ever he punched someone really pulled off the Shadow like feel(which looked better than it sounds.) Also the shadow like effect that passed over Baldwin's face when he was "clouding" some ones mind was fitting over all every "mystic" effect really worked well given the tech of an early 90's movie. The sound track sets and locations really helped set the mood for a 1940's or so setting. I'm really starting to like the era. While this movie isn't exactly dark in the sense you would think it would be it does match the mood of the old radio show a darkness that matched the times. As a pragmatic adaptation of the source material this film has managed to blend elements of the radio and pulp magazines notably the inclusion of The Shadows radio power of clouding men's minds, and the presents of his "companion" Margo Lane that and the fact he is named Lamont Cranston in the movie as he is in the radio show (he was Kent Allerd in the pulps with Cranston being an alias). It also included his network of agents even Burbank(who was not formally named in the film) who coordinates the agents. If you haven't seen this film yet and most likely you haven't I implore you to find it and see it. It won't disappoint. well I guess that will be it for now. hope this helped. And remember...
"The weed of crime bares bitter fruit... The Shadow knows..."