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Shadow Run (1998)   rating

Review: written 2008

Michael Caine heist movie – devoid of charm or excitement

 Shadow Run (1998)

Ok, let me start off by saying I DO think Michael Caine is a great actor... however, he does have an appalling propensity for picking some real duds to star in - and this is one of them.

Coming across like a low budget student effort, it's full of plot holes, bad acting and poor scripting.

The story revolves around a criminal gangs efforts to steal the contents of a security van - when it is discovered one of the possible routes is a shadow run - a route with no mobile phone reception - it seems the heist may finally work. Meantime, a school choirboy becomes involved when he witnesses something he shouldn't, and uses the knowledge to try and improve his outcast reputation at school.

Michael Caine is believable as Haskell, the ringleader, but despite some big names (James Fox, Christopher Cazenove) the rest of the cast just seem plain amateur. Perhaps they can hardly be blamed when there is not one line of dialogue that sounds like it might actually be spoken in real life, and mostly seeks to explain the plot rather than try and give any desperately needed depth to the characters. And then there is that plot itself - hinging on a small piece of scaffolding eliminating mobile phone reception over a wide area! Ludicrous, and that's without trying to explain the muddled motivations of the characters.

And so, the movie veers from trying to show an interesting symbiotic relationship between the boy in search of self worth, and the criminal who may be able to provide it, to a heist movie, and manages to mix up the whole thing into quite a mess.

I am willing to bump this up a notch just for the smile it put on my face to see Leslie Grantham back on the screen, and because Caine always adds a certain value. Otherwise, sadly, for Michael Caine completists only.

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