6.7/10
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10 user 6 critic

Tiger Cage (1988)

Dak ging to lung (original title)
A team of cops get brutally exposed to violence after raiding a drug operation and discovering a link between few members of the police force and an American crime syndicate dealing with drug trafficking.

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(scriptwriter), (scriptwriter) (as Kim Ip)
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Stars: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Tak-Hing Kwan, Biao Yuen
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Insp. Fong Chun-Yau
Carol 'Do Do' Cheng ...
Insp. Ho Siu-Ling / Shirley
...
Insp. Michael Wong
Man-Tat Ng ...
Uncle Tai
...
Terry
Ka-Yan Leung ...
Sau
Lung Wei Wang ...
Swatow Hung
Irene Wan ...
Amy
...
Vincent
Stephan Berwick ...
Vincent's henchman #1 (as Stephen Berwick)
Michael Woods ...
Vincent's henchman #2
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Seng-Kwong Chang
Jing Chen ...
Pheasant
Hark-On Fung ...
Hung's accomplice
Wah-Fan Lam ...
Policeman at Sau's party
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Storyline

After getting their drug operation raided by the cops, a drug trafficker nicknamed Swatow Hung and his American counterparts vows revenge on the ones responsible: Inspector Sau and his comrades Fong Chun-Yau, Ho Siu-Ling, Tai, and Terry. Hung manages to track down Sau and shoot him dead while the latter is planning a retirement to marry Siu-Ling. This tragic event leads to every cop in their department to hunt down Hung and put him behind bars for good. They eventually arrest Hung during his escape from Hong Kong. But Chun-Yau overhears a brief conversation between Hung and Tai, before Hung is purposely shot to death, and begins to suspect Tai of being involved with the drug trafficking. Chun-Yau tracks Tai's every step trailing and videotaping his whereabouts and soon discovers that there may be more than Tai in the police force affiliated with the drug traffickers. What soon follows are death attempts on the cops as the drug traffickers sets to wipe out anyone involved to cover ... Written by DooK

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Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

28 July 1988 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Ultra Force IV  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Connections

Followed by Tiger Cage 2 (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fast and gritty Hong Kong action
1 February 2003 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

Hong Kong film maker veteran Yuen Woo Ping is best known for his wonderful kung fu classics like Snake in the Eagle's Shadow and Drunken Master from the late seventies, the films that made Jackie Chan a star. Yuen himself loves kung fu/martial art films most and prefers directing them over other genres. His another very noteworthy achievements include this film, Tiger Cage (1988), that spawned also two sequels. Tiger Cage belongs to the Hong Kong cinema category I like very much, the mean and gritty modern day action films that are at their most merciless and incredible impact in films like Johnnie Mak's Long Arm of the Law (1984), Johnnie To's and Andrew Kam's The Big Heat (1988), David Lam's The First Shot (1993) among many many others.

Jacky Cheung (Bullet in the Head), Dodo Cheng, Simon Yam (Bullet in the Head, Dr. Lamb etc.) and Donnie Yen (Iron Monkey, Once Upon a Time in China 2 etc.) star in this film telling the story of drug trafficking cops and gangsters and the violent struggle by the righteous officers to finish the illegal activities off from the streets of Hong Kong. There are some unexpected plot turns coming so there's no need in describing more about the plot which is after all nothing special and there only to give a good excuse to the many action scenes that are here as amazing as can be expected by Yuen.

The film is pretty dark and gritty but still miles away from Johnnie To and Andrew Kam's incredible The Big Heat that is perhaps the most infernal, brutal and mind blowing of these actioners I've ever seen. And it has some very strong social issues and problems to tell to make the film even more powerful and memorable. Also Tiger Cage has some good points about corrupt police officers and violence in the big city, and the end scene also gives a sadly deserved punch to the criminal character (and his ideals) who just couldn't stop when it still was possible. Also the final freeze frame of the film is pretty clever ending as the expression on the character's face is the final statement the film makers wanted to leave to the audience's mind about criminal life and violence.

The action choreography is pretty jaw dropping at times and includes some memorable fights with the super star Donnie Yen and (among others) some Western drug traffickers. Especially the final 10 minutes are among the most furious and insane action I've seen in any Hong Kong film and the viewer is quite breathless by the time the mentioned freeze frame comes. The film is very violent too and it is a little surprise by the director who has made many comic kung fu films without violence this gritty and honest.

The acting is pretty (or very) weak at times and the film also has some serious little errors like the clock times on the wall at one part. They change as nastily as possible with the edits. Also the "gas scene" near the end among some other similar things is too hard to take seriously as the characters act so stupidly and don't seem to do as anyone should do in a situation like that. Also, if they had concentrated a little more on the characters and their deeper relations it could have been much more interesting all the time. Not to speak of if they had wanted to make even more serious and noteworthy piece in the tradition of those mentioned and for example the work of John Woo. Now Tiger Cage is perhaps little too close to just another "Hong Kong action flick" without anything other purpose than just action and the entertainment received through that. Not good enough.

Tiger Cage fortunately lacks the typical comic elements of Hong Kong cinema and is pretty restricted all the time (the action of course excluded!). It is a pretty noteworthy albeit little film, and definitely another proof of its director's talent and also a good example of the modern day action genre that saw its birth in the eighties. Tiger Cage is now 7/10 level stuff and if I didn't appreciate the action choreography and things required to do scenes like that, I think the rating could be lower. Hopefully the sequel Tiger Cage II (1990) will improve in every department this film is lacking.


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