Putting a twist on an assassin thriller, the movie The Shadow Effect comes to DVD and I found the story a bit incredible yet entertaining. It’s a cross between The Bourne Identity and the The Edge of Tomorrow with a bit of originality added to make it different. This film takes the ideas from the two films and turns it into an assassination plot with shades of The Manchurian Candidate. While the filmmakers do a good job with their set up, their finale leaves you cold.
Ex-military marksman Gabriel Howarth (Cam Gigandet) has been experiencing nightmares where he sees himself assassinating political leaders. His wife Brinn (Brit Shaw) can’t seem to deal with his violent actions that are displayed by him upon his awaking from the terrible visions. They have become frequent and are turning him into a threat to her wellbeing so she encourages Gabriel to go to see Reece (Jonathan Rhys Meyer), a shrink she has found for him.
Following his first visit he feels assured the he will stop the violence he sees himself committing. When he starts doing some research on the men he thinks he’s killing, a plot starts to develop that will put him on a path of no return. Directors Obin and Amariah Olson take their audience on a roller coaster ride of death as their main character tries to free himself of the devastating effects of the visions in his head. They bait the audience with twists, each one being reasoned out yet leaving doubt in the viewer’s mind, until the final showdown. It’s a nice ploy, but a little too much science fiction to keep it realistic.
The cast does a good job with each of their characters although some of the major names Michael Behan as Sheriff Hodge and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Reece, although significant characters, are not in the film all that much. In the forefront of this film is up and coming Cam Gigandet who shows what he has as a tough protagonist. He has the clout and charisma that can fire up the screen and he gets a chance here as Gabriel. His Gabriel shows the pressure and psychological conflict that has been unleashed upon him. Completely unaware of who or what is causing him to kill, he’s determined to shake himself loose from those who want him to do harm. It’s a perfect character for Gidandet, but not his fault for the weak final chapter that makes the very good performance lose its luster.
The Shadow Effect has not been rated by the MPAA, but contains violence, gore, language, sex and brief nudity. Be cautious when deciding to allow immature children see the film as it is inappropriate for youngsters. Now available on DVD, Digital HD and VOD. A suggestion: do not go by the trailer of this movie as it really doesn’t do it justice.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A nice thriller with a questionable ending.
Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Cam Gigandet, Jonathan Rhys Meyer, Michael Behan, Brit Shaw, Sean Freeland
Director: Obin Olson and Amariah Olson
MPAA Rating: Not Rated, contains violence, gore, language, sex and brief nudity
Genre: Action, Thriller
Running Time: 1 hr. 34 min.
Video Release Date: May 2, 2017
Reviewed Format: DVD
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: 16×9, Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Number of Discs: 1 disk
Distributed by: Momentum Pictures