The Silver Fox (HK 1968)

Rating: **
Review Date: 9/11/16
Martial Arts Instructors: Tang Chia, Liu Chia Liang
Cast: Lily Ho, Chang Yi, Tien Feng

The cunning and ambitious Sima Chau frames his brother Yu (Tien Feng) for the theft of a secret martial arts fighting manual. Yu manages to escape with his life and his young daughter, but is left crippled and horribly scarred. Eighteen years later, his daughter (Lily Ho) becomes the notorious bandit Silver Fox, and Yu uses her to get revenge against Chau. Everything revolves around a golden pendant, which Silver Fox is determined to steal, and a man named Hsu (Chang Yi) is determined to protect. Love begins to bloom as the two of them enter into a strange courtship of who can outwit the other. Family politics get increasingly complicated as the feud reaches its climax, but despite all of the bloodshed and despair, Silver Fox and Hsu manage to ride off into the sunset with each other.

It's a fairly typical convoluted revenge story that makes little sense. Silver Fox could have prevailed at any point, but she always chooses to play with her enemies instead. I guess that's what keeps the story moving and allows for the romantic tension between the leads. Lily Ho is quite charming, but her fight scenes are exceedingly weak. She's much better at throwing withering glances than she is at swinging a sword around. Chang Yi does a decent job as the constantly befuddled Hsu, but his fight scenes aren't very good, either. Tien Feng wears a creepy mask for the majority of the film, which is quite effective. The pacing is decent up until the very end, when the melodramatic climax drags on way too long. The production values are quite good and the film looks great. Silver Fox is a wonderful character, and it's just unfortunate that the action doesn't deliver.