Photo: Shadowboxer: David Lee

It doesn’t take long to figure out that Shadowboxer ‘s Helen Mirren, as a cancer-ridden hitwoman, and Cuba Gooding Jr., as her doting stepson, are the most unconvincing team of hired assassins in movie history. Before long, they rescue, rather than kill, the wife and baby of a torture-happy gangster (Stephen Dorff, licking the scenery), but it isn’t until later, when this brutally incoherent thriller descends into porny sex between Mirren and Gooding — that’s right, May-December interracial quasi-incest! — that you realize it’s smashing taboos in a way that just renders them more taboo.

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