On March 1, First Edge Films and Cinematic Motion Pictures will release a new movie entitled Shadow Fighter.
Shadow Fighter follows a young man named Reggie, growing up in a tough neighborhood. He and his exceedingly protective mother live alone, following the death of his brother. The men responsible for this death increasingly harass Reggie, as they try to pull him into drug dealing. At a critical moment, the 16-year old encounters a homeless man who turns out to be a highly skilled boxer. The two form a bond, as the boxer begins to coach Reggie in how to defend himself. As the tale unfolds, audiences learn why this very talented athlete is living on the street, adding some interesting dynamics to the story.
Both hits and misses in Shadow Fighter
The storyline of Shadow FIghter unto itself is interesting and explores some engaging concepts. Happily, it manages to avoid some of the more obvious plot devices that one may except. In particular, not all relationships here develop exactly as one would expect. Additionally, the conclusion is not exactly the pre-prescribed happy ending one may anticipate. Though it does give viewers a healthy dose of satisfaction, it lacks an overly contrived bow that so many films feel the need to wrap around conclusions.
The sets and costumes in Shadow Fighter are pared-down and without flash. This feels like a solid choice, given the storyline. However, there is a downside. Without the distractions of such elements, viewer attention is focused solely on the acting. Reggie (Omar Brunson) and the boxer (Steve Daron) turn in solid performances. Burt Reynolds also puts in a well-executed appearance. However, most of the other characters lean too far into stereotype - tipping over from drama into melodrama. Overall, the acting is a bit overblown and the timing of dialogue is awkward. The film also occasionally gets caught in the classic pitfall of spelling things out too much. By trimming dialogue and tending more toward subtlety, Shadow Boxer’s impact would elevate significantly.
The flaws in Shadow Fighter may keep audiences from fully investing in the characters. However, the film’s strengths are likely to carry viewers through to the end.
Overall, this tale of loss, bad guys and boxing is a mixed bag. There are strong threads which carry throughout the picture. However, the film fumbles slightly in a few areas of execution. While it may not make huge waves, it is entertaining and could be of interest to late teen audiences.