You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shadow Conspiracy

"Shadow Conspiracy" is one of those misfires that is so bad that it's funny. Box office returns will be modest at best at the outset, then steeply downhill from there.

With:
Bobby Bishop - Charlie Sheen
Conrad - Donald Sutherland
Amanda Givens - Linda Hamilton
The Agent - Stephen Lang
Vice President Saxon - Ben Gazzara
Grasso Nicholas - John Turturro
President - Sam Waterston
Murphy - Henry Strozier
Gen. Blackburn - Charles Cioffi
Att. Gen. Toyanbee - Stanley Anderson
Professor Pochenko - Theodore Bikel
Janet - Dey Young
Congressman Page - Gore Vidal
Blythe - Paul Gleason
Frank Ridell - Terry O'Quinn

“Shadow Conspiracy” is one of those misfires that is so bad that it’s funny. Box office returns will be modest at best at the outset, then steeply downhill from there.

In the first of several movies set for release that suggest criminal conspiracies in the White House, presidential aide Bobby Bishop (Charlie Sheen) learns that a group of highly placed officials are plotting against the president (Sam Waterston). After his source is murdered by an automaton assassin (Stephen Lang), Bishop finds he has become a target himself. Except for his mentor, the White House chief of staff Donald Sutherland), and a cynical reporter (Linda Hamilton), Bishop can’t trust anyone. Everyone is a suspect, from the vice president (Ben Gazzara) to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Charles Cioffi). As the bodies pile up (making for quick bits from the likes of Theodore Bikel and Terry O’Quinn), it’s apparent this movie is basically about having Bishop and the reporter run around Washington dodging bullets until the utterly ludicrous finale.

In terms of acting, Sheen and Hamilton are required to do nothing more than act cool under fire, while Lang’s emotionless killer is simply a plot device. The rest of the cast looks like they were hired for a few days of shooting and were grateful they didn’t have to carry the picture.

Nicholas Turturro for example, is wasted as a technogeek who can track Bishop through computers and satellites. A computer-animated graphic could have played the role.

Unlike the classic “Seven Days in May,” little time is devoted to the self-justifications of the conspirators, making the movie little more than a cat-and-mouse game with often preposterous results. In one scene, Bishop and the reporter lock themselves in an elevator shaft at the White House, so the Secret Service has to break in through the skylight. Their solution: shoot out the skylight.

This is a picture in which the assassin can hit everything but the hero. The climactic assassination attempt — in-volving a toy plane and hundreds of balloons — is so ridiculous there’s only one real danger: that the president (and the audience) will laugh to death. For a purported thriller, that’s fatal.

Shadow Conspiracy

Production: A Buena Vista release from Hollywood Pictures of an Andrew G. Vajna presentation of a Cinergi production. Pro-duced by Terry Collis. Executive producers, Vajna, Buzz Feitshans. Co-producer, Adi Hasak. Directed by George P. Costamos. Screenplay, Hasak, Ric Gibbs.

Crew: Camera (Technicolor, Panavision widescreen), Buzz Feitshans IV; editor, Robert A. Ferretti; music, Bruce Broughton; production design, Joe Alves; art direction, Bill Hiney; set design, Thomas Minton, Johnathan J. Short; set decoration, Anne D. McCulley; costume design, April Ferry; sound (Dolby digital), Keith A. Wester; visual effects, Mass. Illusion; assistant directors, Jim Chory, David Cass; second unit director-stunt coordinator, Vic Armstrong; casting, Karen Rae. Reviewed at Sony Copley Place, Boston, Jan. 28, 1997. MPAA Rating: R Running time: 103 min.

With: Bobby Bishop - Charlie Sheen
Conrad - Donald Sutherland
Amanda Givens - Linda Hamilton
The Agent - Stephen Lang
Vice President Saxon - Ben Gazzara
Grasso Nicholas - John Turturro
President - Sam Waterston
Murphy - Henry Strozier
Gen. Blackburn - Charles Cioffi
Att. Gen. Toyanbee - Stanley Anderson
Professor Pochenko - Theodore Bikel
Janet - Dey Young
Congressman Page - Gore Vidal
Blythe - Paul Gleason
Frank Ridell - Terry O'Quinn

More Film

  • Korea Box Office: 'Maze Runner' Opens

    Korea Box Office: 'Maze Runner' Opens on Top

    “Shadow Conspiracy” is one of those misfires that is so bad that it’s funny. Box office returns will be modest at best at the outset, then steeply downhill from there. In the first of several movies set for release that suggest criminal conspiracies in the White House, presidential aide Bobby Bishop (Charlie Sheen) learns that […]

  • Jane Fonda appears in Jane Fonda

    Sundance Film Review: 'Jane Fonda in Five Acts'

    “Shadow Conspiracy” is one of those misfires that is so bad that it’s funny. Box office returns will be modest at best at the outset, then steeply downhill from there. In the first of several movies set for release that suggest criminal conspiracies in the White House, presidential aide Bobby Bishop (Charlie Sheen) learns that […]

  • 'I Think We're Alone Now' Review

    Sundance Film Festival: 'I Think We're Alone Now'

    “Shadow Conspiracy” is one of those misfires that is so bad that it’s funny. Box office returns will be modest at best at the outset, then steeply downhill from there. In the first of several movies set for release that suggest criminal conspiracies in the White House, presidential aide Bobby Bishop (Charlie Sheen) learns that […]

  • The Happy Prince

    Sundance Film Review: 'The Happy Prince'

    “Shadow Conspiracy” is one of those misfires that is so bad that it’s funny. Box office returns will be modest at best at the outset, then steeply downhill from there. In the first of several movies set for release that suggest criminal conspiracies in the White House, presidential aide Bobby Bishop (Charlie Sheen) learns that […]

  • Sundance Film Review: 'Skate Kitchen'

    Sundance Film Review: 'Skate Kitchen'

    “Shadow Conspiracy” is one of those misfires that is so bad that it’s funny. Box office returns will be modest at best at the outset, then steeply downhill from there. In the first of several movies set for release that suggest criminal conspiracies in the White House, presidential aide Bobby Bishop (Charlie Sheen) learns that […]

  • Bajrangi Bhaijaan - Salman Khan

    Eros Confirms Wide Release in China for Salman Khan's ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’

    “Shadow Conspiracy” is one of those misfires that is so bad that it’s funny. Box office returns will be modest at best at the outset, then steeply downhill from there. In the first of several movies set for release that suggest criminal conspiracies in the White House, presidential aide Bobby Bishop (Charlie Sheen) learns that […]

  • Lion

    Hollywood Increases Domination of Australian Box Office in 2017

    “Shadow Conspiracy” is one of those misfires that is so bad that it’s funny. Box office returns will be modest at best at the outset, then steeply downhill from there. In the first of several movies set for release that suggest criminal conspiracies in the White House, presidential aide Bobby Bishop (Charlie Sheen) learns that […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content