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Michelle Yeoh as Silver Hawk, kicks back
Take that, you beastly henchman!

Michelle Yeoh as Lulu Wong, in shorts
So, how goes your plot for world domination?
December 2005 SITE MAP   SEARCH

Silver Hawk
cast: Michelle Yeoh, Luke Goss, Richie Ren, Brandon Chang, and Michael Jai White

director: Jingle Ma

95 minutes (15) 2001
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Momentum DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by John Percival
This sci-fi martial arts film from Hong Kong is light enough on story to make Power Rangers seem sophisticated and also includes a very distracting audio track, yet still Silver Hawk (aka: Fei ying) is surprisingly good fun.

In essence it is a fairly familiar superhero tale. Based on the stories of a masked heroine first published in Shanghai in 1948, which then turned into some earlier movies in the 1960s and 1970s. This story is set around the year 2008 following Lulu Wong, who by day is a successful businesswoman but by night she becomes Silver Hawk, the masked protector of Polaris City. The police are after her for being a vigilante and now she has to contend with evil cyborg that wants to dominate the minds of the population using hi-tech mobile phones. Lulu teams up with a school friend who is now a police superintendent tasked to capture Silver Hawk. Of course he does not know her secret yet.

The story is very standard and everyone hams up their roles to pantomime perfection. The baddie of the piece Alexander Wolfe, played by Bros' Luke Goss, is the expected evil English mastermind stereotype. What saves this movie for me is the beautifully choreographed martial arts sequences. Whilst this is never going to be House Of Flying Daggers, it is all appropriate and very imaginative. None of the fights are dull and all display an incredible amount of talent on the part of the actors, including Michelle Yeoh - who shows why she is so popular in Hong Kong cinema.

The look and feel of the film is also quite satisfying. Reflecting the futuristic setting, it is shot in a cold bright metallic light, dripping with technology and more than hint of cyberpunk. The character's costumes are well developed and presented. Apart from holes in the plot that you could manoeuvre a space shuttle through, another negative is the acting. Whilst Silver Hawk is good display of Michelle Yeoh's martial arts talents, it is no showcase for her acting. She has been seen to better effect in many other films. Similarly you would be surprised if Luke Goss ever worked again after such a stiff performance. Everyone else just seems to be grinning they way through this apparently oriental homage to Adam West's Batman. One surprise is the complete under use of Michael Jai White, who although has never been the top of his profession is here reduced to a virtually non-speaking part as the evil gang's muscle.

Silver Hawk is filmed in both Cantonese and English, the whole thing appears to have re-dubbed so the lip-sync and who it talking English gets a little muddled. However, if you accept that this is not going to a cinematic masterpiece but a tongue in cheek superhero tale, then you can enjoy the fast kung fu action and beautiful futuristic style in what is essentially a live action anime.

Extras on the disc comprise of a trailer, slideshow and another trailer for a film called Born To Fight.

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