The Tigers (1991)

For over 30 years, Eric Tsang Chi-Wai has kept himself at the forefront of Hong Kong film business. Best known as an actor with a rather wide range, he has also been heavily involved in the production side of the industry. As a director, writer, and producer, he's worked on many popular films from Aces Go Places (1982) to Golden Chicken 2 (2003).

With The Tigers, Mr. Tsang stays behind the camera, except for a very brief Alfred Hitchcock-like cameo appearance. Working from a screenplay by James Yuen Sai-Sang and Nam Yin, the director makes some very cool shot selections and uses some daring set-ups to capture his story. One sequence that involves the camera panning back and forth during some expository dialogue seems lifted from oeuvre of Jean-Luc Godard.

Working with his all-star cast, Tsang gets some varied performances. On the one hand, he allows Andy Lau Tak-Wah and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai too much leeway. The scenario is quite dark and vicious, and the comedic foolishness of their 2 characters seems out of place. On the other hand, the director gets Ken Tong Jan-Yip to give the performance of his career.

Copyright © 2007 John Crawford. All rights reserved.