I am not sure why this piece has not been duly recognnised by way of a review, but I am delighted at the opportunity to give full kudos to an adrenalin laden martial arts spectacle that , even in modern times , can stand along-side any piece of it's kind , by virtue of it's pulverising fight scenes .
This movie boasts some of the biggest names in the old school genre HWANG JANG LEE --invincible armor, snake in the eagles shadow ;PHILLIP KAO---invincible armor,eagles, claw ;CHU TIET WU--crazy horse intelligent monkey,dragon's claw ;CHAING TAO--executioners from shaolin,fearless dragons and CANDY WEN--3 evil masters and bastard swordsman with CHEUNG LIK-- jade fox, ambitious kung fu girl, thrown in for good measure.
The ensemble of talent did not stop there,as we have LIU CHUN KU in the director's chair, who also directed hits like bastard swordsman 1 & 2; 3 evil masters and hell's winds staff . LIU CHUN KU brought on board action director DANG TAK CHEUNG who choreographed the fight sequences in movies like ,the sword, shaolin abbot, super power and mantis combat to name a few.
If anyone has seen the silver screen duel between HWANG JANG LEE and PHILLIP KAO from the movies Invincible armor, and snuff bottle connection and took a liking to the absolutely breath taking martial arts exchanges between the two, then this piece is a must. Both men (lee and kao) are usually on varying degrees of the good vs. evil spectrum, in TIGER OVER WALL, kao is the protagonist while lee is the formidable antagonist.
THE STORY isn't a necessarily marketable commodity, nor in my opinion, could it be considered a literary masterpiece---- however, it doesn't have to be; and in it's simplest form (without giving away to much), surrounds HWANG JANG LEE a corrupt law enforcement official ; an abduction ; greedy foreigners ;an umbrella maker; an investigation lead by PHILLIP KAO that lead him to a confrontation with his nemesis HWANG JANG LEE.
The ingredients/ characters are simple yet appealing ; the unfolding of the story suffers a bit from inertia, in fact , you could even say it dragged a bit in some parts but it is absorbing in others ; the setting is an intricate if not interesting mix of contemporary and old school that serves the thin story well, the fight sequences are a virtual panorama of blistering hand to hand combat served up in a way only action director --DANG TAK CHEUNG , knows how to dish it out. CHEUNG LIK's had a few notable fight scenes , so did CHU TIET WU , but the films strongest selling point is the climatic fight scene between PHILLIP KAO and HWANG JANG LEE . The final battle scene is one for the annals of martial arts movie history, and two of the genre's greatest exponent of the arts took the opportunity to showcase thier skills which resulted in a flick that can hold it's own more than 30 years later.
TIGER OVER WALL , is not just a classic , it is a TIMELESS CLASSIC.
An absolute gem !