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特警屠龍 (1988)
Tiger Cage

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 04/28/2012

The HK Narcotics team celebrate taking down a drug smuggling gang a little prematurely, after the gang leader escapes their sting and harbours thoughts of revenge. However, that's just the beginning of their problems, as it leads to the discovery of another gang with connections in their very own department.

Tiger Cage paints a pretty grim picture of life as a drugs cop - I'm sure most viewers are wondering why anybody would take on the role after watching it... maybe it was cunning propaganda by actual drug smuggling gangs to turn potential police recruits off... though by the end of the film there aren't too many smiley faces on either side of the law. Tiger Cage is a pretty grim film, overall... after the first twenty minutes there is not a drop of comedy or levity (unusual for the era), just lots of unhappiness and violence. Drugs are bad, I guess.

There's quite a bit of action, though most of it gunplay that can't really be classed as 'bullet ballet', but does feature some remarkably explosive squibs. There's some fisticuffs too, but apart from a couple of scenes with Donnie Yen (most notably a great fight with Michael Woods) the hand to hand combat is not particularly stylised either... people beat the crap out of each other quite brutally.

The acting tends to occupy the less subtle end of the spectrum, with a lot of shouting and grimacing - but the circumstances do lend themselves to such expressions.

Overall there is much that is good in Tiger Cage, but little to nothing that is great. A decent film, but perhaps lacking a touch of individuality to make it more memorable or noteworthy.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Beat TG
Date: 06/16/2010
Summary: Good story, average execution

First, I got to give Joy Sales props for their DVD transfer. The quality came out great; sharp, grain-free, coloring, brightening etc. Things look very different visually and that which was hard to see on the previous released Universe DVD (very dark and washed out) is now more visible and clearer. Another plus is the sound. What I feared at first was that Joy Sales would likely to screw the soundtracks (going by their other remastered DVD releases where the new as well as the original soundtracks are tampered with new effects which is annoying), which they always do with the newer audio tracks anyway, but they actually took liberty to include the original mono soundtrack. Things sounded very hollow on the Universe release but with the original soundtrack featured, things are bassy and comes with more impact.

On the whole, TIGER CAGE was decent. I liked the movie a bit more than the last time watching it. The story was as decent as it could get but the dull, straight-forward direction and average production values hinders it from getting any better. This came out during the height of HK cop movies so the script is the typical fair; overacting, melodrama, conflicts etc. If anything, it's the action that matters most. The cast is varied here and therefore the action is depended on almost everyone. But I like the results. The real action performers are, of course, the ones to look out for (especially look out for Donnie Yen who engages in a terrific fight scene against real-life friends Michael Woods and Stephen Berwick midway through the movie) but the non-screenfighters ain't too bad and actually partook in the choreography and stunts at times which deserves praise.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Frank Lakatos
Date: 12/08/2005
Summary: Highly recommended brutal fast paced cop movie

Many critics have overlooked this movie, simply because Donnie Yen, Leung Kar Yan, and Wang Lung Wei all die early in the movie, leaving the pop singer turned actor Jackie Cheung to hold everything together, and he does, with style and intensity. The story may seem soft in the beginning, but the movie takes a turn to brutal and fast action, with ferocious kickboxing fight scenes, street fights, gun battles, and a consitant fast pacing. The acting is just as intense as the action. Simon Yam is terrific as the double crossing cop, and Jackie Cheung's intensity holds everything together, tightly. Donnie Yen's kickboxing and fight with Michael Woods is spectacular. Some of Yen's best modern day fighting, as his fight with Woods is much more frenetic and powerful than Yen's work in In the Line of Duty 4(1988). Highly recommended. ****/*****

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 07/12/2005
Summary: Extremely violent but disjointed

Tiger Cage, from director Yuen Woo Ping, is a pure and simple action extravaganza, made simply to keep you wondering what could possibly happen next. Fang Shun (Jackie Cheung) is a young detective in the Narcotics squad of the Hong Kong Police. After his superior officer is gunned down by a drug boss who had recently escaped custody, Fang Shun is determined to track the boss and arrest him. What he finds though, is a level of drug corruption in department so deep that he isn't sure who to trust anymore. After he videotapes a fellow officer operating with known drug dealers, he starts to find that people in the department will go to extreme lengths to keep him quiet. At first he has drugs planted in his locker and is subsequently suspended, but when that fails to deter him, his girlfriend is murdered. In addition, his partners start showing up dead, forcing him take matters into his own hands and bring every crooked cop to justice.

Extreme Hong Kong violence and an interesting plot are the main draws for this film, but they aren't really enough to save it from being a mediocre movie. The direction from Woo Ping is decent, with the emphasis on thrilling action scenes, but the rest of the movie seems to be thrown together around the gun fights, car chases and martial arts. Although not incredibly complicated, the plot is a little difficult to follow. Jackie Cheung and Simon Yam are good in their roles, but the main person to watch is a young Donnie Yen, appearing in just his third movie. His fight with Michael Woods showcases his speed and style, and is the highlight of the movie.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: balstino
Date: 06/04/2003
Summary: Mediocre action in an OK thriller.

Good actors on display but it was all too run of the mill for my liking. This maybe an above average film for Hong Kong, but I think I'll pass another viewing.

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 04/07/2003

The story was intricate enough, and the action is just brutally explosive, even if Jacky Cheung and Carol Cheng are doubled 90% of the time. So many stars, so much action. You just gotta love HK cinema of the 80s.


Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 07/04/2002
Summary: Excellent

Tiger Cage is one of those films that you never hear too much about, mostly because it doesn't feature one of the "big names" like Jet Li, Jackie Chan or Chow Yun-Fat. But those viewers willing to give it a chance will probably be pleasantly surprised. It's not a blockbuster by any means -- but for solid action, you could do a lot worse.

The story revolves a group of cops led by Simon Yam. After DoDo Cheng's finacee is killed, a drug running ring with ties to the department is revealed, and the group must try to find out who is on the right side of the law. This plot isn't anything mind-blowing, but the film-makers do a good job of hidng who is good and bad, and manage to hold a few surprises for the viewer.

It seems that during the "golden age" of Hong Kong movies, there was almost an overabundance of talent, and Tiger Cage reflects this. There are just too many characters at work here, and the film can't seem to find a true protagonist, ping-ponging between Jacky Cheung, DoDo Cheng and Donnie Yen. This tends to slow down the movie during the exposition scenes, as the audiences struggles to find symapthy with the characters. Yuen Woo-Ping's direction also tends to be a bit lackluster -- perhaps not concidentally, Tiger Cage ventures from the kung fu comedies Yuen is best known for. The movie holds together fine, but it needed more polish for the dramatic scenes to truly work.

However, as you might expect from a movie with five action directors, Tiger Cage delivers action and lots of it. From the first few minutes, Tiger Cage delivers a steady steam of fisticuffs and gun fu that should keep any action fan happy -- I just wish there was more of it. Compared to some other films that came out around this time, Tiger Cage (even though it is very violent in parts) comes off as a bit limp. Still, there are several outstanding scenes, most notably a brutal fight between Donnie Yen and Michael Woods, which is one of the best fight sequences to come out during this time. If you're looking for a deep and philosophical film or one with great acting, then look elsewhere. But action fans should keep an eye out for this lesser-known, but still entertaining, flick.

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Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 03/07/2002
Summary: Average!!

A average cop crime movie. Nothing special here but the ending was pretty good. Donnie yens character has nothing to do with tiger cage 2


Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/22/2002

’Tiger Cage’ to me is a very good example of the above average action films that were being produced during the golden age of Hong Kong film-making. It is another police story true enough, but definitely worth crediting and well worth watching. Two of the best filmmakers are behind this, Yuen Wo Ping and Stephen Shin. The cast too is big, featuring Jacky Cheung, Carol ‘Dodo’ Cheng, Simon Yam, Donnie Yen & Ng Man Tat.

The story really is that of a police unit consisting of Dodo Cheng, Jacky Cheung, Donnie Yen, Ng Man Tat and headed by Simon Yam. They are good friends outside of work, but all goes wrong when Dodos fiancée is killed. The murder is witnessed by Jacky Cheung, who along with the others must do everything can to hunt down the killer. However, two of the police officers are not what they have been making out to be, and betrays the others. I won’t spoil it by saying who. The film is very brutal, and highlights on gunplay, looking like John Woo style of action at times.

As far as acting goes, there is little going on as most of the film is constant action (gun play as well as martial arts). Dodo does what she can as she sees her man dying, but even that seemed a little too fake. The action scenes and fight choreography are excellent, and among the highest quality from that of Yuen Wo Ping, Donnie Yen & Yuen Shun Yi.

I do recommend this, especially if you like the 80’s style of action movies. This reminds me slightly of the later movie ‘She Shoots Straight’, which is pretty much the same, and I think this is better than that. There were sequels, but neither as good as this.

Rating: 4/5

(This rating is compared to other films of the same genre made in the same year. It’s not being compared to other films made earlier or more recently.)

Reviewed by: leh
Date: 12/09/1999

OK action/gangster movie. Followed by unrelated sequels.