Thursday, November 17, 2016

Obscure Superhero Week: Silverhawk

Hey all, welcome back for Day 4 of Obscure Superhero Week. Y'know it is a bit ridiculous to find a super heroine flick that isn't directly linked to a per-existing male protagonist. Supergirl, Elektra and Catwoman (technically Femme Fatale/thief/bad girl) are our prime examples?? Oh sure you could say Black Scorpion, Barb Wire and Aeon Flux IF they weren't overtly sexualized to a level I would be very uncomfortable to tell little girls to behave like that when you grow up. Christ, Tomb Raider and 1970s Wonder Woman and Isis managed to make strong willed, determined women that happened to be gorgeous as well. That was more of a bi-product or said actresses playing them. Busting my hump to find ANY super-heroine movie is a pain in the ass to begin with because the genre is either campy, insipid or just sexualized. And then... when all hope seemed lost. When frustration clouded my head. My gleaming goddess of goodness helped me out and may have restored a little faith in writing and directing. This is Silverhawk.

Hey, that's not Jet Li.

No wings of silver or nerves of steel. (Points to anyone getting that reference) Our heroine is a silver clad ass kicker for the side of good Silverhawk (Michelle Yeoh of Police Story 3: Supercop, Wing Chun, Tomorrow Never Dies, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Far North, Babylon A.D., Reign of Assasssins and Kung Fu Panda 2: The Quickening) whose secret identity is Lulu (No not the maxi dresses, atheletic wear, Lou Reed's album, the Fae Sorceress of League of Legends or the Scottish singer from the 1960s), a martial arts master/model and all around heiress to a mass conglomerate using her skills, money and being for the good of humanity. And does this with 4 minutes we have a bike chasing down a truck, a choreographed fight sequence on top of said truck, truck disabled and the baddies all terrified of her kicking their asses yet again. The precious cargo??? Um pandas. Yeah I guess black market for fur or claws? No idea. I envision an evil over-the-top British super-villain pawing one as he would a Persian cat exclaiming his insidious plan to his minions and muhahahaing the night away.

We're voguing!

Our heroine/vigilante's works have been noticed as the chief of police of Polaris City, Rich Man. Rich Man. Imagine the hell for that kid and do not wonder how he excelled at martial arts too. Okay, Rich Man (Richie Jen of Gorgeous, Fly Me to Polaris, Marry a Rich Man, Elixir of Love, 20 30 40, Seoul Raiders and The Sniper) is Lulu's childhood friend at the martial arts academy and apparently has complete and total recall of everyone, anyone and everything she has ever done or interacted with in life and recognizes Rich immediately. Rich a bit slower on the draw seems to remember but cannot quite place her. Rather than get her number, Lulu slips a tracker/bug on his phone keeping aware of the police investigations and a bit of flirting on her part. Rich makes it clear he is gonna bust Silverhawk due to the typical trope "Taking the law into one's own hands" but he is more concerned right now with the threat of a new A.I. Program that could end up in the wrong hands.

Where does she get those wonderful toys?? BMW I guess.

A quick couple of notes here. This universe operates like Marvel Comics tech. This is a virtual holographic majong game, there are sleek steel and glass buildings and mind deciphering devices but in modern day age. Lulu's auntie is constantly interfering and insistent that Lulu chase after men, marry and have healthy babies and so on. Leaving a brilliant scientist at her front door and now she must entertain Professor Chung (Daming Chen of Foreign Moon, Beverly Hills Ninja, Silverhawk, One Foot Off the Ground and What Women Want), the very same scientist developing the revolutionary plot point, I mean A. I. So yes you can do the Batman comparison because she is a talented normal with fighting skills, wonderful toys and a crusade and while that is an influence; the story arc is nowhere the dark brooding crap on a rooftop, the baddies may have some contusions and a concussion but they haven't been straight up murdered (Yeah Batman Returns, I'm looking at you) and the violence level is surprisingly low.

Hang on a sec... did I skip the villain? Yeah I did. Sorry about that. With the A. I. Demonstration well in hand, of course now is the time to abduct the prof.

Enter hench persons...well its a unisex teams so yeah. Morris (Michael Jai White of Thick as Thieves, Universal Soldier: The Return, Exit Wounds, Why Did I Get Married?, Black Dynamite, Blood and Bone, Arrow, Beyond the Game and The Asian Connection) and Jane (Bingbing Li of Purple Butterfly, Waiting Alone, Dragon Squad, Linger, The Message, Resident Evil: Retribution and Transformers: Age of Extinction) looking full on cyberpunk testing Silverhawk's skills and clearly were impressed, looking forward to that rematch. Worried about the involvement of the vigilante's time and effort, their boss/mastermind Alexander Wolfe (Luke Goss of Blade II, Love Life, Charlie, Cold and Dark, 13 Graves, Bone Dry, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Deep Winter and Tekken) schemes to best dispatch the crime-fighter as effectively as possible or perhaps win her over. It could go either way.

We have everything we need in a super-heroine. Great practical stunts, fight choreography, elaborate death traps, potential suitors panting at the door for her. In short, a beginning, a middle and an end. Personally, I liked it but I think a good hybrid of martial arts, sci-fi and super-heroine combo platter works well. Not to mention a showdown of Luke Goss, Michael Jai White, Bingbing Li all against Michelle Yeoh. Brutal scenes yet elegant violence.

Yeah I'm guy from Blade II and Hellboy II.