Tiger Cage 2 1990 Movie Scene Donnie Yen as Dragon Yau fighting with John Salvitti using samurai swords

Tiger Cage 2 [1990]

The first thing you need to know about Tiger Cage 2 is that you don’t need to know anything about the original movie to enjoy this one. The second thing you need to know is that it has a bitchin’ eighties soundtrack. It’s going to put you in the right mood right from the get-go. I could go on and on like this but I don’t want to bore you too much. Tiger Cage 2 is a movie full of exciting fights, shootouts, and childish humor. The plot is laughably bad and paper-thin, fitting in perfectly with the rest of the script. I mean, we follow two guys carrying no less than seven million dollars in one suitcase on their way to launder it in Hong Kong.

The literal translation of the original title of this movie, Sai Hak Chin means Dirty Money Laundering. As, I guess, there’s such a thing as clean money laundering. However, you should not concern yourself with such trivial matters as plot points as the action kicks off pretty soon. For a Hong Kong martial arts movie, Tiger Cage 2 features a surprising amount of brutal shootouts. You can expect the classic format of Uzi-wielding bad guys and double-handgun good guys shooting at each other.

Some of the scenes are so energetic and frantic that they remind me of the infamous nightmare sequence from An American Werewolf in London. Despite the somewhat confusing opening 20 minutes, the movie will soon explain everything during a neat exposition dump. And then it will proceed to crack a few lame jokes complete with sound effects. Luckily, they don’t continue in this direction and return to a classic Jackie Chan style of humor. 

Speaking of him, I hope that Tiger Cage 2 is going to open your eyes to the fact that there are great Hong Kong martial arts movies not starring Jackie Chan. You might even say that the movie we’re talking about today is better than most of his movies. Under the masterful direction of veritable legend Woo-Ping Yuen, Tiger Cage 2 punches way above its weight. There’s even some artistic and stylish camera work reminiscent of another legend, John Woo.

Two businessmen have just landed in Hong Kong and made it through customs carrying 7 million dollars in their briefcase. They’re there to hand the money over to Chow, who’s going to launder it for them. The meeting went well but as the three of them were getting out of the elevator, four guys attack them. In the middle of this commotion, an ex-cop Dragon Yau accidentally sees the money and then gets accused that he’s part of the mob. Now, wanted by both the law and the criminals, Dragon must come up with a plan to resolve the situation.

Tiger Cage 2 stars none other than young Donnie Yen (Yip Man) and Robin Shou (Mortal Kombat)! Both of them were excellent along with the imposing David Wu and charming Rosamund Kwan. As is always the case, we’ll also get a couple of Westerners. This black-and-white bad guy team wasn’t half-bad. Actually, Donnie Yen and John Salvitti have one of the best samurai sword fights I have ever seen. It’s beautifully choreographed, exciting, and realistic. And I just loved the way Michael Woods pounces toward the camera. Ahhh, the good old days of pounces toward the camera. 

Another thing that you won’t be seeing in today’s movies is the way Donnie Yen’s character Dragon treats Mandy. He constantly threatens her with violence in a cartoonishly hilarious but still fucked up eighties way. It’s surprising to see this sort of anti-hero behavior in a Hong Kong action movie. Finally, I’m still to check the rest of the Tiger Cage trilogy so if you’re looking for similar movies they should not be too bad.

Director: Woo-Ping Yuen

Writers: Chi-Ho Fong, Kwong-Kim Yip, Yeuk-Kwong Yuen

Cast: Donnie Yen, Rosamund Kwan, David Wu, Robin Shou, Michael Woods, John Salvitti

Fun Facts: Chinese law states that bad guys should not be killed but arrested by police to wrap the story up. This is why there are two versions of the movie.


IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100967/

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