Mikey and Rose are professional assassins. They are also lovers, and once upon a time Rose also knew Mikey's father. During an elaborate hit job for a malicious gangster, Rose fails to kill the main target, the gangster's pregnant girlfriend. Instead, she delivers her baby and convinces Mikey to help her protect them both. As Rose weakens from cancer, Mikey becomes breadwinner for this unusual family. But tranquility will not last.Written by
Peter Brandt Nielsen
Just after Macy Gray's character talks to Dorff's character outside his mansion, she gets in the car and shuts the door. In the next shot, she shuts the car door again, despite it already being closed. See more »
Audacious may be the best word to describe this. It is filled with much of the same style and honesty that Lee Daniels brought to his next film 'Precious', making it a good primer for that noteworthy film. Though it can be highly sexual, violent, stylized, and filled with some baroque plot twists, it has a go-for-broke ingenuousness that makes it all work. It reminds me of Sweet Sweetback's Badaaass Song in the way it plays to what the director knows is a pulpy, inner city aesthetic, but that it is of his world, one filled with violence and unsavory characters. No one here is entirely sympathetic. It defies the stereotypes of more traditional formula driven films. There's no comforting message. Combine all this with his love for films like Sweet Charity and you have an odd film.
Daniels confidence in his own vision certainly applies to his notable casting choices that distinguish his films. He is a great director of actors and makes sure that they understand his own background and reasons for employing certain character types and situations. In Shadowboxer, Macy Grey is not only credible, but terrific (as was Mariah Carey in Precious). He gets an understated performance from Cuba Gooding Jr. which alone is a worthy achievement. Helen Mirren deserves accolades, for not just being the great actress one expects, but for maintaining needed integrity in what must have seemed a risky venture. She anchors the story beautifully in what are, to say the least, some bizarre situations. The casting of Mo'nique as lover to Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also wonderful. And Stephen Dorff's full frontal, Trojan and all, is on for the records. In fact, Lee Daniels general obsession with male beauty and asses is a theme in itself. Hello Gus Van Zant! I suppose in the wrong mood you could find the movie just over the top. Even though it's far a perfect film, it is great fun and shows Lee Daniels as a director of force and confidence.
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