Silver Hawk

Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Michael Jai White and Luke Goss
Momentum Asia

RRP: 15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 26 September 2005

Lucy Wong is a millionairess and lives the life of a celebrity. However in secret she exists as the Silver Hawk, a crime fighting super woman, master of martial arts and surrounded by high-tech gadgetry.
When a scientist involved in Artificial Intelligence is abducted the Silver Hawk discovers that super villain Alexander Wolfe is behind a sinister plot to brainwash the population...

Silver Hawk starts off on the right foot - for the first ten seconds. The opening sequence has Wong leap a section of The Great Wall of China on a motorbike. For a second it was the Tomb Raider movie that never was (anyone whose played Tomb Raider 2 on the Playstation will know what I mean). Ignoring, for a moment, the fact that the camera is not positioned well to make the most of this fantastic stunt, everything looks promising. And then, 20 seconds later, it all starts to go pear shaped.

Michelle Yeoh's Wong character is chasing a truck on her bike. She gets in close behind it and hits a button that send two rods out of her bike to lock it onto the truck. After a very ropey (you can almost see the wires) leap onto the top of the truck she is attacked by several goons in black (obviously left over goons from the '60s Batman TV show) The fighting sequence on the top of the truck is awful and if you look closely you can see that the truck, which was thundering along at about 70 miles an hour, is actually crawling along at about 10 miles an hour. It reminded me of some of the worst fight sequences of the old Wonder Woman TV series.

But then, when the fighting was over and the goons are cowering I realised that I had misjudged this movie too early. It was supposed to be campy. Or was it. For the duration of this film I was never really sure what angle the director was taking. There are the occasional campy moment (I loved the police detective in drag scenes) but on the whole this is played as a kung-fu based superhero movie with very few (intentional) laughs.

The stunt sequences are like something out of a poor man's Matrix, and the lip synching is, in places, appalling. In fact it's so bad that I remember episodes of Monkey that were better. To be honest, it would have been a much better movie if it had been filmed in Japanese and subtitled.

Matt Goss is just about watchable as the stereotypical bad guy. Although, what does he do once he gets our hero where he wants her (in a high ceilinged room with steel walls)? He sends bad guys in who are suspended on elasticised harnesses? What is that all about?

The sad thing is, that if they had gotten rid of a few expletives, this would have made a fairly passable kids movie. Sadly, anyone over the age of 12 will probably see this as too childish.

There are no extras worth mentioning (just trailers and photo gallery), but then to be honest I don't think I'd want to sit through loads of featurettes that explained the origins of the characters and how the stunts were choreographed.

While this is not the worst superhero movie ever made (although I am struggling to think of one that is much worse) it's certainly up there with Catwoman and Batman and Robin. One for the very young only, who sadly won't be able to watch it legally anyway.

Nick Smithson

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