Video cover for 'Cyprus Tigers'

Cyprus Tigers

AKA: The Cyprus Tigers, Cyprus Tiger


Director: Philip Kao

Stars: Simon Yam, Conan Lee, Philip Kao, Robin Shou, Sophie Crawford, Joey Wong

A team of Chinese cops based in Greece known as "The Cyprus Tigers" and a crooked businessman, along with his Japanese henchmen, are after a set of counterfeit money printing plates. And that's about it. This movie is about as one-dimensional as they come, mostly stemming from problems with the weak script. There's no explanation given as to why the Chinese cops are in Greece, for instance. Sub-plots come and go at the drop of the hat. One that involves Simon Yam (who plays the head Tiger) going back to HK to visit his wife (Joey Wong) goes absolutely nowhere and grinds the film to a halt. Besides a fairly weak fight with Sophie Crawford taking on Simon in a parking garage, more time is seemingly spent on showing Joey at a fashion shoot than any real character development or good action. Seeing the lovely Ms. Wong is not a bad thing in itself -- but I wanted action, or at least a good story line or something.

And that's this movie's main problem. It offers nothing. The whole thing seems to smack of a marketing gimmick to set it apart from the dozens of similar movies that were coming out around this time. But the problem is, the producers couldn't come up with a big enough budget to support this movie and as a result it looks -- and, more importantly, feels -- very cheap. In fact, besides showing copious footage of topless beaches (which are one of this film's "highlights"), there's really nothing to distinguish itself from a movie set in Hong Kong, besides maybe the number of plain lousy gweilo actors. Sometimes I wonder if they just pull these people off the street or something.. Anyhow, getting back to the film's budget, the end results are so bad it's almost laughable. For instance, Simon starts out in the movie driving a Porsche. Now you might think that this would factor into the movie in some way, like he's going to use it in a chase. Nope. The producers probably couldn't get the car for more than a day so for the rest of the movie Simon drives some crappy Celica and worse yet, rides on the back of Conan Lee's dirtbike.

This movie wasn't totally bad, though. Some of the jokes are pretty funny, there's some decent action and Simon Yam, as always, looks pretty damn cool throughout the movie (especially compared with Conan Lee's wardrobe, which consists of crappy racing shirts, open vests, and plain not wearing much of anything). But in the end, it's not enough to save it from being a stinker.


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