Silver Hawk is a film that feels a lot like it’s part of various SE Asian countries (not just Hong Kong, but also Taiwan) film industries’ making their own attempts to follow in the footsteps of the superhero films of the early 2000s – X-Men, the Spider-man movies, and the Blade films.
The film stars Michelle Yeoh as the titular superhero Silver Hawk, whose secret identity is a supermodel/Rich Idiot With No Day Job Lulu Wong. Wong is also a childhood friend of local police inspector Rich Man (Richie Jen), who trained with her as a child at what’s depicted as a Shaolin-esque martial arts school (not to be a monk, but more like the 36th chamber – meant to teach martial arts to the masses).
The two end up getting caught up in trying to thwart a plot by supervillain “Mr. Wolf” (Luke Goss) to use a new wireless cellphone technology meant to use AI to get people to improve their personal habits as mind control so he can rule the world.
The good first – the plot has managed to age remarkably well – the motivation behind the tech has that sort of “road to hell is paved with good intentions” vibe that comes out of various bits of tech-bro culture. The fight choreography is also generally well done, with some particularly innovative fight scnees. The performances are in a mix of Chinese (in flashback sequences) and English, and the performances are pretty good. I want to give special note to Michael Jawi White & Li Bingbing, who do a lot with literally no dialog.
The problem is that the fight scenes are badly shot. The dedicated stunts and dialog are filmed very well, but the camera placement and editing for the fight scenes is a mess, and that’s what ultimately kills this film. I don’t know if this is an issue with the director or the fight choreographer, but in either case, it makes the movie much less enjoyable.
The film is currently only available on DVD, and I admit that I don’t know how well this film would hold up in HD.
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