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Review Tiger Cage a.k.a. Dak ging to lung (1988) Poster Dak ging to lung (1988): Average at best!

genre: action, crime, drama

Tiger Cage is one of those Hong Kong titles I have seen many times but still keep forgetting about it. Why? To put it mildly it's a downright mess!

Now I have no knowledge of the process or what the original idea was. But the opening sequence is quite excellent and showed promise for what is to come. Unfortunately none of the action after comes even close to what is presented in this opening. And it's puzzling to me. Sure there are a lot of brief action sequences that are nice but none of the level that truly get your heart pumping. Most of the focus of this film lies on the intrigue. This so called twisty plot is as average as one can imagine. It doesn't take much to figure out who the bad guys are since they have their eyes rolling long before you even pay attention to them. 

However I could have lived with this if the bad guys at least make an effort to be compelling. Every move or action on their part is predictable. And that could have been fine as well had it at least lead to a major action sequence. Why else have Donnie Yen around? He kicks like once or twice and then is out of the film. In their infinite wisdom they made Jackie Cheung the lead. A non martial artist who back then made the same face over and over again to express is agony. With the right director he is capable of more. Far more. Still it's obvious that Yuen Woo-ping wasn't really concerned with characterization and plot that much. Actually now I think about it not even the action is on par with his usual work.

Tiger Cage could and should have been a classic. But sadly it's more a case of what not to do. My advice, watch the opening sequence in it's entirety and then act like the film has finished. You will have a swell 10 minutes at least.

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