Shadow Conspiracy (1997) – Review

1 Star

Shadow Conspiracy has the feel of a film that missed it’s sell-by date while still in development. It’s an uneasy mixture of The Firm, The Fugitive, and The Net. Arriving in theaters during January 1997, Shadow Conspiracy is at least three years late to the party. It’s theme of government shadow agencies and the use of the internet to track people may have seemed outlandish two decades ago. Today, it’s a factual reality of living in 2018.

Bobby Bishop (Charlie Sheen) is a key advisor to the President of the United States (Sam Waterston) who finds himself targeted by a professional killer working for a shadow agency working within the White House. Now, Bishop is on the run and is left with only two allies: his trusted mentor White House Chief of Staff Jacob Conrad (Donald Sutherland)-and his former girlfriend, reporter Amanda Givens (Linda Hamilton). Stephen Lang plays the psycho-killer for what seems the umpteenth time in a thankless role as a character whos only function is to inflict a tremendous amount of violence on innocent bystanders.

It’s long been rumored that Director George P. Cosmatos never really directed the movies he was credit for. Instead, the film’s star ghost directed and Cosmato willingly obliged in exchange for a paycheck and screen-credit. His biggest hits, Cobra, Rambo 2, and Tombstone were all reportedly helmed by either Stallone or Kurt Russell, respectively. I wonder who actually called the shots on Shadow Conspiracy? After all these years no-one has stepped up and taken “credit” for this bomb. Perhaps, it was Cosmato after all. It’s a shockingly hacky job of filmmaking all around. The rudimentary direction is highlighted by flat lighting and a story rife with absurd and illogical plot turns.

Director: George P. Cosmato
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Donald Sutherland, Linda Hamilton

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