The Silent Force (2001)

thesilentforce

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Loren Avedon and the late Karen Kim star in this action packed film about one man’s mission to avenge his entire team.

FBI agent Frank Stevens has been part of an operation to take down an Asian crime syndicate led by Hue Gung Pao and his son Kim. When Kim is scheduled to make a delivery, he is taken down by Frank and his partner Billy. Frank and Billy are part of a secret group of agents known simply as ‘The Silent Force’, with their mission to take down organized crime.

Pao, however, learns of the busted deal and becomes hellbent on revenge. Along with the released Kim, Pao and his men take down members of the Silent Force one by one. What they didn’t intend on is that Frank has become the lone survivor and becomes hellbent himself on avenging his friends. What he doesn’t know is that he may have a trump card in the form of Natalie Woo, the widow of Frank’s ex-partner, who has a relationship with Pao enforcer Jimmy Thai and works for the organization, not knowing she has a motive of her own.

Co-produced by lead star Loren Avedon, this had the potential to become quite an action film. After all, the plot may be standard but with a certain twist, it enhances the film. Avedon truly hits the mark as the lone survivor of an elite group of agents who are murdered viciously by a crime syndicate that seeks revenge for a deal that got busted. The late Karen Kim, best known to action fans for her performance in U.S. Seals II, doesn’t get to throw down here, but rather use a brand of seductress-like skills for her ultimate goal, which is similar to that of Avedon’s Frank. As a matter of fact, Frank’s ex-partner who was killed was Natalie’s husband. Easy to figure it out.

What makes the film interesting is seeing Brian Tochi play a villain. The Asian-American actor, known for his roles as “Takashi” in the original Revenge of the Nerds and “Nogata” in Police Academy 3 & 4, handles the villain role pretty well with a little humor mixed in. As for George Cheung, the Hollywood veteran actor/stuntman brings pure evil to the role of syndicate leader Hue Gung Pao, who uses very unorthodox methods to get his revenge for his big deal gone bad. Those wishing he had a chance to throw down, sadly won’t see that happen.

So while the story and some of the performances were well done, what went wrong? Well, the action sequences could have been somewhat better. J.J. Perry, whose brilliant choreography can be seen in Undisputed II: Last Man Standing and Blood and Bone, got one of his first jobs as a choreographer here. It’s fair to say for one of his first fight choreography jobs, he did pretty well using his friend Avedon’s talents. Two fights in the film really stand out and both involve Avedon. The first is a spar between Frank and rookie members dressed in black to test him out. The second involves Frank taking on an unnamed bounty hunter, where Avedon just unleashes his amazing kicking skills. The rest of the action isn’t exciting; especially what could have been a hell of a rematch between Avedon and an uncredited Matthias Hues. It is as if the producers felt the film had to run a certain time and they rushed with the editing. Who knows? But most of the action could have been better. However, give J.J. Perry credit as this was after all, one of his first major choreography jobs and since then, the rest is history.

The Silent Force is a decent time-waster with Loren Avedon giving it his all once again. Some may wish that Karen Kim and George Cheung could have had some throw downs, and that there could have been better action overall, but everyone gets an A for effort. Worth at least a rental on a Saturday night with the boys.

WFG RATING: B-

A Cross Creek Productions film. Director: David May. Producers: Ron Singer and Cynthia Ahearn. Writer: David May. Cinematography: Christopher Probst. Editing: Peregrine Beckman and Katherine Pienaar.

Cast: Loren Avedon, Karen Kim, George Cheung, Brian Tochi, Clint Jung, Robert Clements, Matthias Hues, Roger Yuan, G.G. Force, Roger Lee, James Kelly, Nick Nitti.

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