Silver Hawk (2004) / Action-Adventure
aka Fei ying
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for violence and mild language
Running Time: 99 min.
Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Luke Goss, Richie Ren, Brandon Chang, Daming Chen, Kouichi Iwaki, Michael Jai White, Kit Wu Sai, Wei Lui
Director: Jingle Ma
Screenplay: Susan Chan, Jingle Ma
Review published November 9, 2005
Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Tomorrow Never Dies) stars as Lulu, a glamorous woman representing the business world in her day job, but whenever there's trouble, she dons a mask and sexy metallic outfit as her alter ego, Silver Hawk. In this adventure, a nefarious organization kidnaps one of the world's top scientists, who had been working on a new device to read people's minds and do what's best for them, whether these people want what's best or not. Applying the ability to manipulate thoughts on a more global scale, the organization seeks to control society at large via their cellphones. With the help of her childhood pal, Rich Man (Richie Ren), Silver Hawk is out to take them down at any cost.
Even approaching her mid-40s, Michelle Yeoh shows she still isn't missing a step when it comes to high-flying action vehicles. In fact, her trademark moves and agility provide just enough excitement to turn this otherwise lackluster superhero caper into something watchable. As with many martial arts movies nowadays, the fighting is "enhanced" by wire-fu and CGI elements, which aren't nearly as titillating as seeing someone perform such feats for real. At least some of the stunt pieces are imaginative, making up for the obviousness of the trickery with some interesting, if wholly illogical, confrontations. The plot itself barely manages to pass the snicker test, especially since it smacks of Riddler's diabolical mind-control plot in Batman Forever.
Silver Hawk, reportedly based (very loosely) on a comic book from the 1940s, has a nice budget for sets, costumes and effects, and with Yeoh front and center, it should please her biggest fans. For those looking for solid comic book superhero action, this is an average flick at best, with cartoonish villains and silly dialogue, not once aiming for an audience that isn't juvenile. For action junkies that prefer adrenaline-charged chase scenes and volatile fisticuffs, Silver Hawk will probably deliver enough goods to merit a one-time viewing. Those looking for something they haven't seen before in any of the previous dozen costumed vigilante films will not find much worth recommending here.
©2005 Vince Leo