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Tiger Cage 2
Chinese: 洗黑錢 Tiger Cage 2
Rosamund Kwan and Donnie Yen
Year: 1990
Director: Yuen Woo-Ping
Producer: Stephen Shin Gei-Yin
Action: Yuen Shun-Yi, Yuen Cheung-Yan, Donnie Yen Ji-Dan, Philip Kwok Chun-Fung
Cast: Donnie Yen Ji-Dan, Rosamund Kwan Chi-Lam, David Wu (Ng Dai-Wai), Robin Shou Wan-Bo, Cynthia Khan, Carol "DoDo" Cheng Yu-Ling, Lo Lieh, Leung Lam-Ling, Michael Woods, John Salvitti
The Skinny: A sequel only in name, this film provides the requisite action fix courtesy of director Yuen Woo-Ping and star Donnie Yen. This is a far less gripping movie than Tiger Cage 1, but it's still quite enjoyable.
by Kozo:

Tiger Cage 2 reunites director Yuen Woo-Ping with star Donnie Yen, but unlike the first film, Yen is the true star here. He also gets a supreme leading lady in Rosamund Kwan, as well as a lighter film and more HK-style antics. This film may not be as dark as the harrowing Tiger Cage, but in its own way it's just as enjoyable.

Dragon Yau (Yen) is an ex-cop blamed for a robbery that he didn't commit. He goes on the run with shrill lawyer Mandy (Rosamund Kwan), as the two are handcuffed together due to Hong Kong movie-like circumstances. The robbery in question involved a bag of money meant to be laundered by businessman Philip (Robin Shou of Mortal Kombat fame), but it got misplaced when a masked gang of thugs attempted to steal it. One of the handlers, David (David "WuMan" Wu), must find it, and suspects Yau and Mandy. Of course, neither Yau or Mandy had nothing to do with the robbery, and spend most of their time arguing in wacky Hong Kong style over whose fault it is that the cops are after them. For awhile, the two suspect David which means many misdirected suspicions and humorous face-offs.

Eventually the three team up to clear their names, as it's obvious that Philip is the real culprit. Aside from acting smarmy and generally annoying, he hangs out with musclebound bad guys Michael Woods and John Salvitti. Their presence heralds a kung-fu fix for the fans, and Yuen Woo-Ping and Donnie Yen don't disappoint. While the first three-quarters of the film is reserved for fun chase sequences and some nifty Jackie Chan-style choreography, the final quarter gets brutal kung-fu standoffs aplenty. In quick succession, Donnie Yen must take on Salvitti (in a samurai sword duel), followed by Woods and then Shou, who neglects to try any of that Liu Kang stuff on him. David Wu does his share of faked fighting too, but it's Yen who carries the day with his nifty martial arts skills and above-average comic talents.

Those aforementioned comic talents make some of the quieter moments of Tiger Cage 2 tolerable, as they're generally run-of-the-mill Hong Kong comedy sequences involving male-female bickering, a love triangle between the three leads, and Donnie Yen acting drunk. Dragon Yau, Mandy and David also bond during the course of their quest for the missing dough, which is a plot development that's neither convincing or compelling. Asking us to care for these characters is probably asking too much, but most Hong Kong films (including the fine work of Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung) are guilty of the same thing.

Tiger Cage 2 can never compare to Tiger Cage, because the sequel only beats up the actors. The original Tiger Cage was a brutal, pessimistic crime thriller than managed to bludgeon both actors AND the audience, which is a rare feat for any film. While the silly wackiness of the original provided a fine counterpoint to the ultimate death and dismemberment of the majority of the cast, this sequel tries to make the wacky silliness actually mean something. No surprise here; it doesn't mean anything whatsoever, and the film's insipid love triangle comes off as superflous filler. Then again, it's unlikely that those who choose to seek out the film will give a damn who ends up with Rosamund Kwan, anyway. All they'll care about is the action sequences, in which case they'll go home happy. (Kozo 2002)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Joy Sales (HK)
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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