Red Hawk box cover

Info

Available on VHS from Manga Entertainment.
OAV
90 minutes
Martial Arts
Version I Watched: English dubbed
Objectionable Content: Graphic violence

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Red Hawk

Oh, brother. Do we really need another entry into the over-crowded "no-plot, all-action" martial arts genre? Judging by Red Hawk, it looks like we do.

I've never had a good experience with these kinds of anime, and began watching this movie with low expectations. Much to my unsurprise, all my expectations were met.

Like the traditional martial arts anime, there isn't any plot or characters worth speaking of. The story is boring, predictable, and simply serves as an excuse to dish out the fight scenes. In ancient China, gangs bring fear to the populace and have corrupted the government. Only one man, a hero called "Red Hawk", can hope to prevail against this overwhelming tyranny.

Characters were equally shallow. We've got the traditional hero types, but Red Hawk goes one step further by giving the hero a secret identity. Of course, if you can't figure out who Red Hawk is within the first ten minutes, then you might actually be surprised by every "twist and turn" in the plot. Most, however, will just end up bored.

The one notable character was the Joker-ripoff villain. While he may bear striking resemblance to Batman's famous nemesis, he was at least amusing to watch, and spouted a few humorous lines. I was almost sad to see him kick-off (aw, c'mon! you didn't expect him to actually *survive*, did you? ^_^).

Now if the action had been exciting, then I could overlook the one-dimensional cast and corny plot. Alas, Red Hawk has nothing new to set it apart from its ilk. The action sequences were generally the same for the most part. Kick, punch, kick, fall down, get up, grow angrier, then repeat. There was one humorous fight at the beginning, but that's about the only part I really enjoyed.

On a positive note, the production values were pretty good. The art and animation were quite nice to look at, which makes me wonder why good technical talent is wasted on drivel like this. Voice-acting was decidedly average. Some characters over-acted, some under-acted, and a few were decent. There was nothing overly painful, but nothing really noteworthy.

If you're a fan of the genre, then you might find this movie somewhat entertaining. For everyone else, I recommend you give it a pass.

The Verdict: * * (poor)