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Favorite 'Tiger Cage' Movie?


One Armed Boxer
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Favorite 'Tiger Cage' Movie?  

15 members have voted

  1. 1. What's your favorite 'Tiger Cage' movie?

    • Tiger Cage (1988)
      2
    • Tiger Cage 2 (1990)
      10
    • Tiger Cage 3 (1991)
      3


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One Armed Boxer

I got through watching the 'Tiger Cage' trilogy this week, for what I'm ashamed to say was the first time, after I've had the Fortune Star remastered DVD's sitting in my movie pile for the best part of a year. I was surprised to find there's been no thread dedicated just to talking about the movies themselves previously, so figured it's about time one was created!

My thoughts? These are some of the best modern day action martial arts movies I've seen for a long time! Each movie contains minimal comedy, superbly choreographed fight scenes, stunts, and car chases, and even the story lines are half decent when compared to the standard HK cop movies.

I thought I'd give my brief opinions on each one, and would be interested to hear how you guys feel?

Tiger Cage (1988)

Directed by Yuen Woo Ping

Action Direction: Yuen Woo Ping, Donnie Yen, Yuen Yat Chor, Yuen Shun Yee, Yuen Cheung Yan, Paul Wong Kwan

This movie stars a great cast of new & old HK legends....Jacky Cheung, Simon Yam, Leung Kar Yan, Wang Lung Wei, & of course Donnie Yen. As was standard with any Donnie Yen movie of that era, even when he wasn't such a big star, Michael Woods makes an appearance for the sole purpose of them to have a fight.

Yen's role is only a supporting one this time around though, with the main characters being played by Jacky Cheung and Simon Yam respectively. While neither of them are trained martial artists, no doubt under the direction of the Yuen clan, you would never know.

'Tiger Cage' has a great mix of everything, from Wang Lung Wei going John Woo at the beginning with a pistol in each hand being pursued by the cops, culminating in a crazy fall from one of HK's many overhead walkways, bouncing off a roof underneath, and into the waters of HK bay....to the fight mid-way through with Yen versus Woods & Stephen Berwick....to the hate filled finale which features Jacky Cheung & Vincent Lyn going at each other tooth and claw.

Every fight contains some wince inducing impacts, people get thrown into walls and street railings in a way which had to hurt, and there is a satisfying amount of blood shed to the fights as well which give them an extra element of grit. 'Tiger Cage' also gets points for featuring one of my favorite kung-fu movie scenes....the flying kick through a moving cars front window, never get tired of seeing it!

I really enjoyed that all the fights are hand to hand, I've never really been a big fan of traditional weapon work in modern day movies, so the mix of gun play and fight choreography in 'Tiger Cage' struck the perfect balance for me, a great movie!

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Tiger Cage 2 (1990)

Directed by Yuen Woo Ping

Action Direction: Donnie Yen, Philip Kwok Choi, Yuen Shun Yee, Yuen Cheung Yan

For some reason this movie took me by surprise, although I 'd heard many times that Donnie Yen really gets to show his stuff off in this one, I still expected it to be more of an ensemble piece, much like 'In the Line of Duty 4'. However this is not the case, Yen is very much at the front and center of the movie, in every regard.

A good or a bad thing? At this time in his career, in my opinion at least, it's an excellent thing! This was in the era before Yen developed the urge to really be an "actor", so instead of watching him grimace at the camera in an attempt to display emotion as in recent efforts, here he is playing exactly the role which I love to see him play - a cop with some serious anger management problems.

Top this off with the fact that his ego had yet to lead to him parting ways with his mentor, Yuen Woo Ping, and what we're left with is an outstanding modern day martial arts movie. The fights are refreshing just purely from a Donnie Yen perspective, I've gotten so used to simply watching Yen pummel opponents into the ground, with him barely getting a scratch in recent years, that it was a real thrill to see him getting into fights where his opponent seems to be equally matched. Yen gets hit with flying kicks, knees, and punches to the face, I actually felt like he was in danger for once!

Once again there is a great combination of gun play and fist fights throughout the movie, even before the finale there are some great scraps, the highlights for me of which were Yen going crazy against a gang in a restaurant, and a great scrap on top of a moving open top bus, which culminates in one of those great HK stunt moments when Yen kicks a bad guy off the top deck of the bus, who then lands on top of a moving taxi, before hitting the road.

The ever cute Cynthia Khan also makes an apperance, this time playing second fiddle to Yen, when only a year before it had been the other way around in 'In the Line of Duty 4'.

Amazingly though, my favorite fight of the movie does not feature Yen. It goes to Robin Shou and David Ng who go at it something fierce before Yen arrives on the scene, it's just a great knockdown fight which features an intensity rarely seen in recent HK movies.

The grand finale is all Yen though, as he gets to take on 3 opponents....Michael Woods (of course), John Salvitti, & finally Robin Shou. The Woods fight is top drawer stuff, with Yen relying on only his feet due to his hands being tied, for me the Salvitti fight, while I've no doubt it's techincally excellent, just didn't do it for me, as both of them decide to use swords, and for me it just didn't fit with the tone of everything that had come before. The final fight with Shou is satisfyingly high impact and fast, although it's all over very quickly, and I could understand why some people would be frustrated with how Shou is delivered the final blow.

But these are very minor gripes in an outstanding kung-fu movie, I can't believe I waited so long to watch it!

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Tiger Cage 3 (1991)

Directed by Yuen Woo Ping

Action Direction: Yuen Shun Yee, Ku Huen Chiu

The third installment is kind of a departure from the previous two, which both featured many returning cast members in different roles and had a similar feel to them. In 'Tiger Cage 3' we instead get Cheung Kwok Leung & Michael Wong playing a pair of cops on the tail of corrupt business man Wong Kam Kong and his muscle John Cheung. The movie is actually quite dark in it's story, one of how money corrupts and nobody can be trusted, which combined with the less popular stars might lead you to believe that this is the least enjoyable of the trilogy.

Thankfully though this is not the case, although the third installment does actually take some time to set up it's story, with the first action scene not coming until almost 20 minutes in (yes 20 minutes! This is an early 90's HK action movie, 5 minutes was normally the longest you had to wait!)....once they arrive they come thick and fast. Once again there is a great mix of gun-play, fist fights, and vehicle stunts. This is probably the only movie I've seen which features a guy on a jet-ski being chased by a guy with a rocket launcher on a boat! I also like the more subtle creative elements of the fight scenes, like when some punches are thrown the performers must have been holding squibs in their fists, as upon impact blood splatters everywhere, it gives a realistic and feel of danger to the fights.

Kwok Leung has some great kicks in his repetoire, kicking seems to be a feature in all of the 'Tiger Cage' movies, even without Yen, and this third installment features some great one against many fight scenes. One scene which has Kwok Leung being chased by a bunch of the bad guys before they finally catch up had me thinking this is exactly how the finale of Wu Jing's 'Legendary Assassin' should have been like, and this isn't even the finale!

John Cheung gets to square off twice against Kwok Leung, and both are outstanding one on one matches, the second of which features them going at each other with machete's, fists, feet, and flaming pieces of wood....it's painful to watch. The finale is a classic HK skyscraper rooftop fight, with Kwok Leung going against Ridley Tsui, and it's a classic example of hate! These guys kick and punch each other half to death, it's one of those scenes that get's your adrenalin pumping the way any great fight scene does.

All in all, although 'Tiger Cage 3' doesn't have the star power that the first 2 installments have, and features a decidedly dark storyline, it is still very much a worthy movie in the series.

83ZjewnWzyk

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I haven't seen TC3, but I really loved the first two films. Donnie Yen clearly had the best fight sequences in both of the first two. A great fight pitting Yen vs. Michael Woods and Stephen Berwick was great in Part 1 and Part 2 had two awesome Yen fights, a sword fight against John Salvitti and then his handcuffed fight vs. Michael Woods were great battles.

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I've had the third one for a while but not watched it yet. The second film in the series is the one I like the most, great action in that. The first film was quite disappointing for me.

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Part 1 has the best plot but direction is very dull and most of the action is given to Jackie Cheung who is the real lead actor of the movie. Part 2 is light but VERY entertaining as a whole. Part 3 is unbearable to watch but has good action. Overall, it's Part 2 for me.

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ShaOW!linDude

Never seen the 3rd one. The clip posted shows some pretty good-looking action but I didn't see anything that was expressly MA. Is there any in it at all?

I'd have to put my vote for TC 2. There's some some great choreography in that one. It's probably my favorite of Yen's early work.

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One Armed Boxer
Never seen the 3rd one. The clip posted shows some pretty good-looking action but I didn't see anything that was expressly MA. Is there any in it at all?

Wow...it seems many people decided to pass on the third installment, a shame as it's a great modern day actioner.

ShaOW!linDude....yeah the lack of action shown in the trailer also stood out for me to be honest, short of posting the finale against Ridley Tsui and the second major fight against John Cheung, because they would be major spoilers, here is a taste of what you can expect to see from 'Tiger Cage 3' -

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ShaOW!linDude

Sah - weeeeeeeet! Thanks, OAB! I've got to get this now.

I noticed an interesting sound in the 2nd clip: All body kicks sound like one of those 5 gallon plastic buckets flipped upside down and thumped.:tongue: That's a new one on me.

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One Armed Boxer
Sah - weeeeeeeet! Thanks, OAB! I've got to get this now.

Yeah...I would certainly class it as a worthy addition to anyones collection, especially considering these days the 2 clips posted could very well be the action content for a whole movie, `Tiger Cage 3` has plenty more action scenes on top of those.

I noticed an interesting sound in the 2nd clip: All body kicks sound like one of those 5 gallon plastic buckets flipped upside down and thumped. That's a new one on me.

Ha ha...I didn`t notice it until you pointed it out, but you`re completely right! Well, bear in mind that they`ve all just come from the party you see at the start of the clip, so have probably got quite a few beers inside them.

I downed several myself last night, it being Saturday, in the name of research to see if I could replicate the same sound (never mind the fact that you only posted today....minor detail)....I`d like to give you an answer, but truth be told I can`t remember anything.

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Haven't seen the third one either but after checking out the clips i'll look out for it. My favourite is part 2 which was the first one I watched mainly cos of Donnie Yen and I think that's why I wasn't so keen on part one as Donnie isn't the star and obviously doesn't feature as much. That said part 1 is a pretty good action movie and providing you don't approach it as a Donnie Yen film (which I did originally) then you won't be disappointed.

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I also haven't seen the 3rd but think I'll pick it up on the next dvd shipment. Looks pretty ace.

I actually like the 1st a lot. It has a really hard boiled opening action sequence and gritty story and Donnie has some good moments too even though he's not the star.

2nd ones awesome as well for all out Donnieeee. Didn't find it quite as hard boiled as the first though. Not sure which I prefer more between this and ITLOD4. Similar style. Both great so maybe no need to have a favourite.

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I prefer ITLOD4 over Tiger Cage 2, although I don't mind comedy like a lot of fans, Tiger Cage 2 has a lot of breaks in the action with much more comedic moments, also ITLOD4 seems to feature fight after fight.

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To me TIGE CAGE 2 was by far the best in the series. Everything just gelled, the plot twists, the tight rhythm of the stunt action and the broad comedy. And talkin’ about the latter, Rosamund Kwan’s lizard-style flower-pot punch was the bomb! Matter of fact; Donnie, David Wu and Mrs. Kwan made me crack up every other minute… I even thought of the romantic subplot, a turn-off for many, as kinda charming.

TIGER CAGE 1 had an absolutely unforgettable opening sequence (the drug bust and the subsequent chase) but never reached that state of revved-up frenzy again, despite the memorable Yen/Woods fight and almost an overdose of inventively staged violence. You’d just wished Donnie Yen would have outlived Jacky Cheung, guess that would have made it a top-drawer experience. Still a reasonably good action blowout in my books though.

As for TC 3, the initial built-up was quite compelling despite pale leads. But from the moment when Cheung Man (Suki) got kidnapped by the villain’s henchmen and then becoming his conniver, plot logic and any semblance of plausibility got completely dispensed with and things just got outrageously absurd. (Alright, TC 1 had its outrageously absurd moments too; Simon Yam trying to sexually assault a bleeding and tied-up DoDo Cheung in his apartment looked just ludicrous in the run-up to a million dollar drug-deal...).

The gun fu action here was also strangely perfunctory and rarely enthralling. Main actor Cheung Kwok Leung airborne fight scenes were definitely virtuosic, but came across as a bit samey and tiresome towards the end and his “burnt skin” make-up looked like caked mud on his face.

Probably the weakest Yuen Woo Ping film I remember seeing (never watched RED WOLF though).

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Since I haven't watched TC3 yet, I can't compare them but I have seen Red Wolf. It has one or two good moments, mainly due to the confined Under Siege / Die Hard type setting but the film is only average at best. Don't mean to be harsh, but it could have been a lot better. It's still not that bad, though, maybe one to watch on a rainy day when you've seen all the films you really want to see.

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One Armed Boxer
To me TIGE CAGE 2 was by far the best in the series. Everything just gelled, the plot twists, the tight rhythm of the stunt action and the broad comedy. And talkin’ about the latter, Rosamund Kwan’s lizard-style flower-pot punch was the bomb! Matter of fact; Donnie, David Wu and Mrs. Kwan made me crack up every other minute… I even thought of the romantic subplot, a turn-off for many, as kinda charming.

TIGER CAGE 1 had an absolutely unforgettable opening sequence (the drug bust and the subsequent chase) but never reached that state of revved-up frenzy again, despite the memorable Yen/Woods fight and almost an overdose of inventively staged violence. You’d just wished Donnie Yen would have outlived Jacky Cheung, guess that would have made it a top-drawer experience. Still a reasonably good action blowout in my books though.

As for TC 3, the initial built-up was quite compelling despite pale leads. But from the moment when Cheung Man (Suki) got kidnapped by the villain’s henchmen and then becoming his conniver, plot logic and any semblance of plausibility got completely dispensed with and things just got outrageously absurd. (Alright, TC 1 had its outrageously absurd moments too; Simon Yam trying to sexually assault a bleeding and tied-up DoDo Cheung in his apartment looked just ludicrous in the run-up to a million dollar drug-deal...).

The gun fu action here was also strangely perfunctory and rarely enthralling. Main actor Cheung Kwok Leung airborne fight scenes were definitely virtuosic, but came across as a bit samey and tiresome towards the end and his “burnt skin” make-up looked like caked mud on his face.

Probably the weakest Yuen Woo Ping film I remember seeing (never watched RED WOLF though).

Interesting comments....it strikes me that there are two types of HK action cinema fan on these forums....those that just want to see the kung-fu and stunt work, regardless of whose performing it, and those that love the kung-fu and stunt work as well, but on top of that enjoy watching the many great performers and actors who where working in HK cinema during that golden period.

For me I'd say I definitely fall into the latter category, and the HK movie industry now just doesn't have that same stable full of stars that had so much charisma and screen presence back then. Hence why for me, while many people complain about Yen getting killed off mid-way through 'Tiger Cage 1', the fact that we still have Jacky Cheung & Simon Yam sharing the screen together, and getting into well above average fist fights, make it a great movie.

The second one is all about Yen just kicking ass for the duration of the runtime...and all he has to do inbetween is perform some broad comedy, look angry, and act drunk for one scene. In terms of acting and story, the second one is completely forgettable, but the action scenes more than make up for it thankfully.

I actually enjoyed the balance of the third one. The story very much reminded me of something you'd find in Chang Cheh's best works, with the one female character ultimately being capable of destroying every man around her, just with her back stabbling and gold digging. Yes the movie doesn't paint a very positive view of women, maybe Woo Ping was having lady trouble at the time of making it, but for me the slightly different plot set up from your standard HK cops & robbers movies of the time made for a refreshing experience. I have to agree on the burnt makeup job being terrible though, sometimes when he's talking you can actually see it coming away from his face, I guess it wasn't the priority!

Since I haven't watched TC3 yet, I can't compare them but I have seen Red Wolf. It has one or two good moments, mainly due to the confined Under Siege / Die Hard type setting but the film is only average at best. Don't mean to be harsh, but it could have been a lot better. It's still not that bad, though, maybe one to watch on a rainy day when you've seen all the films you really want to see.

Yeah 'Red Wolf' is one of Woo Ping's few neither here nor there movies....it just kind of exists in the pages of HK cinema history. While you're watching it doesn't actually seem that bad, then a couple of hours later you realize you can't remember a single thing about it.

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I never saw the third one. The second one I thought was great and would actually make for a good double feature with The Witness (aka In the Line of Duty 4) since both showcase Donnie Yen in a modern setting, doing his thing from beginning to end. I agree with others here that the first one started off well, but went downhill fast. Just too much wallowing in despair for it's own good (though the late film fight in the apartment with the gas turned on was pretty clever).

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it strikes me that there are two types of HK action cinema fan on these forums....those that just want to see the kung-fu and stunt work, regardless of whose performing it, and those that love the kung-fu and stunt work as well, but on top of that enjoy watching the many great performers and actors who where working in HK cinema during that golden period.

I enjoy both types, and I'm sure there's other members on here who do too.

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ShaOW!linDude
Interesting comments....it strikes me that there are two types of HK action cinema fan on these forums....those that just want to see the kung-fu and stunt work, regardless of whose performing it,...

Let's call that Category A.

...and those that love the kung-fu and stunt work as well, but on top of that enjoy watching the many great performers and actors who where working in HK cinema during that golden period.

And this Category B.

I'm probably more Category A. First and foremost whenever viewing HK/Asian cinema, I want so terrific fight choreography and jaw-dropping stunts. Plot and performance are no more than vehicles to get from one action segment to the next. If it's actually a good plot with decent acting performances......Bonus!

However, I'm a bit Category B as well. There are certain MA/actors that I'll view almost anything they do (as long as it's MA related) simply because they've impressed me in the past and made me a fan of their work. That's a pretty elite group of folks 'cause just about everyone on here falls in this category and loves them: Lee, Chan, Hung, Biao, Jaa, Yen, Li, Wah, etc.

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One Armed Boxer
I never saw the third one. The second one I thought was great and would actually make for a good double feature with The Witness (aka In the Line of Duty 4) since both showcase Donnie Yen in a modern setting, doing his thing from beginning to end.

66 Mantis...I agree! Feel free to choose which one is your personal favorite in this thread -

http://www.kungfucinema.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15392

I'm probably more Category A. First and foremost whenever viewing HK/Asian cinema, I want so terrific fight choreography and jaw-dropping stunts. Plot and performance are no more than vehicles to get from one action segment to the next. If it's actually a good plot with decent acting performances......Bonus!

However, I'm a bit Category B as well. There are certain MA/actors that I'll view almost anything they do (as long as it's MA related) simply because they've impressed me in the past and made me a fan of their work. That's a pretty elite group of folks 'cause just about everyone on here falls in this category and loves them: Lee, Chan, Hung, Biao, Jaa, Yen, Li, Wah, etc.

Hey ShaOW!linDude...that`s fair enough and completely understandable from the viewpoint of a pure action fan. I`m also a fan of HK cinema in a broader sense as well, especially that fantastic era ranging between 1980 - 1995, so if a moive has the likes of Chow Yun Fat, Simon Yam, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Anthony Wong, Danny Lee, Andy Lau, or Leslie Cheung in it, chances are I`ll be willing to give it a go....regardless of if it has martial arts in it or not.

That`s why amongst the many great examples of martial arts cinema that came out at that time....I also class movies such as `The Big Heat`, `Hard Boiled`, `The Killer`, `Ebola Syndrome`, `Full Contact`, `Naked Killer`, `The Untold Story`, `The Last Blood`, and `Rouge` as personal favorites as well....for me the first Tiger Cage movie sits comfortably amongst these flicks as well.

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saltysam

Tiger Cage

cracking actioner looks fantastic on the 88 blu ray.How cool is the opening scene seeing kung fu legends Wang Lung Wei & Beardy sitting opposite each other in very modern day clothing. :smile

Tiger Cage 2

Didn't find this as good as the first, some great action but i found Donnie Yen's character an annoying pain in the arse for a lot of the run time.

Tiger Cage 3

Definitely the least of the 3 movies. Worth seeing and not bad .

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Chu Liu Hsiang

TIGER CAGE - first viewing. Good cops, bad cops, in between-cops, atrocious villains, great fights, lots of action, stunts that make me cringe: Everything I love in "modern" HK movies. I look forward to watching the sequels (I know they're not related).

Spoiler

I've never hated Simon Yam as much as when his character shot Terry/ Donnie Yen, and after that gorgeous fight :bs_angry: Of course I knew earlier than anyone else that HE was the uber traitor.

On 8/8/2022 at 10:33 PM, saltysam said:

(...) How cool is the opening scene seeing kung fu legends Wang Lung Wei & Beardy sitting opposite each other in very modern day clothing. :smile

Yes!!!

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Drunksnake
Posted (edited)

Watched Tiger Cage for the first time last night. It flew by so fast, what a great fun movie. The cast was awesome too and the action scenes are what you'd expect from an urban HK actioner. Cannot wait to watch part 2. The presentation of this set is awesome and the bookletwas a great read.

Tiger-Cage-1988.jpg.7862eda316f2e6ccd24dcad8acc028c7.jpg

Edited by Drunksnake
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ShaOW!linDude

TC 2 for me. Don't think I've seen TC 3, and TC 1 really doesn't have much MA in it. 

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Tiger Cage 2 topping the voting poll... The first movie is actually better but the action in part 2 is just more satisfying. Plus the humor and the charm makes for an overall enjoyable ride. Part 3 has got great action, rivaling even part 2. However, the story was not as appealing as the first two movies.

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Darth Kermit

TC1 is a fantastic brutal actioner with some great shoot outs as well as great martial arts (but more shootouts). TC2 is a kickass MA comedy through and through. Haven't seen 3 yet, will watch tonight. 2 is my favorite so far, but the first two are both masterpieces, just in their own ways.

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