Rewatched Jul 08, 2012
Don't know anything about the source material but I did watch this as a kid and even had some Shadow-themed toys too.
The absurdity of this starts off right away...flying daggers, temples that appear out of thin air (literally), and teleportation..of sorts. And it continues fast and heavy when The Shadow is introduced. But, hey, absurdity is what we expect in superhero/vigilante stories.
Alec Baldwin looks unbelievably young, and I'm sure he was in '94. His appearance as his masked alter-ego is freakishly bird-like.
Oh my god Ian McKellan with no white hair....WHAT?! And the ever-creepy Tim Curry. Plus, Frank from "Everybody Loves Raymond"..hahhaha. Interesting supporting cast.
The plot is glaringly repetitive. Vigilante that tries to help but is only hated by the public and hunted by the police force. But what is unique is the characteristics of the vigilante character and their persona; that is where films like this hope to "stand out". And of course, there's the temptation of power from the dark side.
I was kinda bothered by the glaring lack of back story for Lamont Cranston. He is apparently rich and does almost nothing with his life except for when he fights crime. So is he like Bruce Wayne, a rich playboy with a lot of time on his hands?
The plot holes continue when all of a sudden the asian guy from the beginning is a genius scientist who is exactly who Cranston needs to figure out the villain's plan with no prior hinting at this connection. It's like they just said, "sure let's use this dude".
The final face off is fairly cool. Plenty of action and plenty of the aforementioned absurdity.
This is basically a poor man's "Batman".