Street Hawk – Reviewed by Skids Poppe
The only thing which saves me from feeling really bad about this whole thing is that I know you all would have done the same thing if you were in my place. See, there I am, my girl Franki and I are looking for something “romantic” at the video store when I come across a sure-fire hit. The cover of the box has a great shot of a high-tech two-wheeler rearing its front end. In fact, the slug line reads “The ultimate high-tech crimefighter”. C’mon, you mean to tell me you wouldn’t pick up a movie about a good guy biker over something sappy? I would. I did. (Okay, we also got the sappy one, which we watched together. I’m not stupid)
So there I was, alone (she went to work) about to slip in my new discovery. The movie is called Street Hawk and I’m gearing up for a great ride. I should have known something was wrong when I had this nagging feeling I’d heard that title before. Forget it, I told myself, after a while they all sound alike. Right. Then I read the back. I know, usually I do this at the store so I don’t get suckered, but hey, I was with a girl. Sue me.
The plot didn’t sound too bad. Pretty typical actually. You know, ex-cop becomes costumed crime fighter. Okay, so it doesn’t get points for originality, but what does these days? The thing which disturbed me was the listed time; 1 hour. That’s not long enough for a movie, is it? Nowadays, everyone thinks a movie has to be three and a half hours and in black and white. Not me, of course, but Hollywood folks tend not to listen to me. Their loss.
Anyway, I pop the tape in, hit play and settle back for an hour of excitement. Yeah, right.
As soon as the credits start, I know why it all sounds familiar. This was a pilot for a TV show. Needless to say, my expectations dropped a bit. No problem, I’ll still give it a chance.
Well, one thing I can say for Street Hawk is it does have a lot of motorcycle stunts. The show (I refuse to call it a film even if it is in a video store) starts off with two bikes coming backwards out of the ass end of a huge, black truck (pay attention, this is a plot point) and knocking over a police transport carrying 50 pounds of cocaine. No…these are not the good guys. This was made for the pablum eating TV public, remember? Uh-uh, the good guy shows up in the next scene. He’s Rex Smith. You know he’s the good guy because with looks like that, he ain’t gonna be bad (or tough), no matter how hard he tries to be.
About a half hour into the program, we get to meet the real star: The Street Hawk Motorcycle. It’s cool. Has lots of nifty gadgets (flaps, ejector seats, particle beams, you know, standard equipment on the ’96 Harley’s). The bike was built by Joe Regalbuto (he’s on Murphy Brown now, boy, his career has skyrocketed), your typical engineering nerd. I like him. I’d hire him to write a tech column. Like I said, not much new here.
The good news, is this is harmless fare. If you want to introduce the kiddies to the wonderful world of motorcycle movies, you could do worse than this one. There are no naked bodies (TV, remember?), some decent stunt riding and horrible acting. Even Christopher Lloyd as the bad guy was lame. And, it’s short. Throw it on and let it entertain the kids for an hour. I’m sure you can find something to do to fill the time. I did.
The LAPD has asked if you read this column, please don’t drive for at least 45 minutes. Thank you.