Kwok-Leung is James, a Hong Kong cop who gets into some serious
crap. He and partner John (Michael Wong!) are investigating
big business guy Mr. Lee (Wong Kam-Kong), who's suspected
of your usual corporate chicanery. To that end, they employ
James' girlfriend Suki (Cheung Man), who's an up-and-coming
businesswoman. They discover that Mr. Lee is, in fact, dirty,
but unfortunately their score is undone by Lee's corrupt ties
to the government.
Even worse, somebody on the cops tries
to extort ten million US dollars from Mr. Lee, leading to
a kidnapping, some bullets and a large explosion which turns
James into "The Phantom of the Police Station."
He becomes disfigured and hides from his former life. Meanwhile,
John has been disgraced for supposedly being the extortionist,
and Suki has become Mr. Lee's employee/arm candy. When all
the players get back together six months later, new questions
arise. Did John actually extort Mr. Lee? Is Suki really as
emotionally wounded and good-hearted as James believes her
to be? And will James' scarred-face make-up fall off mid-take?
Just like Tiger Cage 2, Tiger
Cage 3 has nothing to do with the original Tiger Cage.
All the three films have in common are cops, white collar
corruption, and an overriding desire to make sure the audience
goes home feeling like complete and utter crap. There's some
enjoyably-staged violence here, but those seeking warm and
fuzzy movie experiences had best check themselves at the door.
Yuen Woo-Ping serves up the usual assortment of acrobatic
gunplay, leaping martial arts and - the Tiger Cage trademark - exceptionally painful looking impact. With
that final factor in mind, Tiger Cage 3 ends up being
fun early-nineties HK entertainment, provided you turn the
multiplex desire for happy endings AND likable characters
Of all the characters in the film, only James seems somewhat
righteous and likable. Everyone else (even Cheung Man) either
seems or is shady, which doesn't make for much audience identification.
Furthermore, the characters aren't exactly deep, and the situations
far from exceptionally interesting. As narrative filmmaking
goes, Tiger Cage 3 is only average. But who cares? This movie features
people fighting and dying in an entertaining fashion. And,
as everybody knows, lots of HK Cinema fans love films that
feature people fighting and dying in an entertaining fashion.
While not as dark and tough-minded as the first film, nor
as kung-fu happy as the second, this third Tiger Cage is still better than your usual mindless action flick. (Kozo