The Shadow is actually one of the oldest comic book characters in existence. First appearing in a 1930 radio drama, and then a pulp magazine one year later, the enigmatic hero predates Batman and Superman by nearly a decade and has earned the affection of a loyal fan base for years. So the idea of a nostalgic retelling of some great Shadow stories is actually a pretty good one...if the creators behind it had any talent. Unfortunately, a visionless director, shoddy script, and a disinterested Alec Baldwin all contributed to The Shadow being a massive clunker.
Even though the original pulp stories had a naïve innocence to them that complimented '30s-era sensibilities, The Shadow's slightly modernized tone came across as cheesy and thin, instead of the noir crime drama it could have been. This isn’t a case of filmmakers blatantly disrespecting the source material; rather, they respected it too much and didn't recognize its datedness.