Tiger Cage (1988)
The HK Narcotics team celebrate taking down a drug smuggling gang a little prematurely, after the gang leader escapes their sting and harbours thoughts of revenge. However, that's just the beginning of their problems, as it leads to the discovery of another gang with connections in their very own department.
Tiger Cage paints a pretty grim picture of life as a drugs cop - I'm sure most viewers are wondering why anybody would take on the role after watching it... maybe it was cunning propaganda by actual drug smuggling gangs to turn potential police recruits off... though by the end of the film there aren't too many smiley faces on either side of the law. Tiger Cage is a pretty grim film, overall... after the first twenty minutes there is not a drop of comedy or levity (unusual for the era), just lots of unhappiness and violence. Drugs are bad, I guess.
There's quite a bit of action, though most of it gunplay that can't really be classed as 'bullet ballet', but does feature some remarkably explosive squibs. There's some fisticuffs too, but apart from a couple of scenes with Donnie Yen (most notably a great fight with Michael Woods) the hand to hand combat is not particularly stylised either... people beat the crap out of each other quite brutally.
The acting tends to occupy the less subtle end of the spectrum, with a lot of shouting and grimacing - but the circumstances do lend themselves to such expressions.
Overall there is much that is good in Tiger Cage, but little to nothing that is great. A decent film, but perhaps lacking a touch of individuality to make it more memorable or noteworthy.