Shadow Conspiracy

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -2 1/2

Charlie Sheen is caught in the middle of some political intrigue in this inept and unintentionally laughable thriller. He plays Bobby Bishop, a special assistant to the White House. The President (Sam Waterston), beginning his second term in office, is about to propose major policy changes. But his plan has already been leaked to political opponents, so Bishop convinces the President to postpone his announcement until a more opportune time. Meanwhile, a professional assassin (Stephen Lang) has killed a house full of covert government researchers, although Bishop's friend, Professor Pochenko (Theodore Bikel), manages to escape. He arranges a meeting with Bobby, but the killer shows up and guns down the Professor. Bishop realizes he's also a target and goes on the run around Washington, even though Chief of Staff Jake Conrad (Donald Sutherland) keeps asking him to come to safety at the White House. Bishop's life is constantly in danger as he pursues the truth, aided by his former girlfriend, news reporter Amanda Givens (Linda Hamilton). With its boring dialogue, wooden performances and a plot with holes big enough to drive a fleet of trucks through, Shadow Conspiracy has very little appeal. The only joy for fans of thrillers may come from picking the film plot and believability apart.

Violence predominates, particularly in the opening scene when the assassin murders several people with gunshots. Only a few bloody wounds are shown during these and subsequent killings, but the body count is pretty high. For the climax the killer devises a remote controlled weapon that he unleashes in a crowded room, with many people wounded and killed. A woman is murdered by breaking her neck and a man is hit by an oncoming train. The already unimaginative dialogue is riddled with many obscenities, crude words and regular profanities. These elements, combined with the film's ridiculous and poorly executed plot, make Shadow Conspiracy an easy film to avoid.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
Hollywood Pictures, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (23) times - Mild 11, Moderate 12

Obscene Language: Many (22) times - f-word 8, s-word 6, other 8

Profanity: Many (19) times - Regular 17 (J 5, G-d 5, G 3, JC 1 for G sake 2, for C sake 1), Exclamatory 2

Violence: Many times - Moderate and Severe (frequent gunfire with multiple killings, man shot through head, people shoved aside, woman's neck broken, man hit by train, implied suicide with gun to head, sophisticated weapon kills and wounds many people)

Sex: None

Nudity: None; near nudity once (low-cut dress)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Few times (alcohol drinking)

Other: None

Running Time: 103 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.