Twilight of The Warriors: Walled In (2024)

The Hong Kong action movie industry is often looked at as the peak of what action, stunts, and fight choreography can rise to, but owing to a number of factors, the fireworks that Hong Kong’s action scene was known for had gotten a lot quieter and less frequent in recent years.

Thankfully for devotees of this most specific of martial arts sub-genres, Hong Kong action has gradually but prodigiously begun roaring back to life, with Soi Cheang’s “Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In” giving it a strong kick back into high gear.

Better still, lovers of action can enter “Twilight of the Warriors” with smiles abound on their faces, as this one has proven to be a Hong Kong action fan’s dream come true!



Raymond Lam leads “Twilight of the Warriors” as wayward refugee Chan Lok-kwan, with Louis Koo playing the unusually kind-hearted gang leader Cyclone.

Sammo Hung portrays Cyclone’s rival gang leader Mr. Big, while Philip Ng plays his very energetic, animated, and supernaturally powerful right-hand man King.

Richie Jen also appears as Dick Chau, while Terrance Lau, Tony Wu, and German Cheung play Cyclone’s associates and Chan’s allies Shin, Twelfth Master, and AV.

Kenny Wong also appears as Uncle Tiger, with Aaron Kwok also appearing in flashbacks as the young Cyclone.


In 1980’s Hong Kong, Kowloon Walled City is a hotbed of crime and conflict, presided over by the stone-faced but principled crime boss Cyclone.

While no other crime boss in Hong Kong dares to encroach upon Cyclone’s territory in Kowloon Walled City, Chan Lok-kwan, a young refugee just off the boat from China’s mainland to Hong Kong, is unfamiliar with Kowloon’s unspoken rules, and wanders into the borough in search of shelter and determined to get a local I.D. card to build a better life for himself.

Despite initially running afoul of Cyclone, Chan earns the respect of the triad leader and is welcomed into his inner circle, where he befriends Cyclone’s subordinates Shin, Twelfth Master, and AV.

However, Chan doesn’t realize he’s also set a gang war in motion when he ran into Kowloon with a drug stashed lifted from one of Hong Kong’s biggest crime bosses, Mr. Big. With Mr. Big’s unhinged lieutenant King leading the charge, the brewing conflict threatens to completely destabilize the delicate peace maintained between Hong Kong’s triad gangs and Cyclone’s rulership of Kowloon Walled City.


“Twilight of the Warriors” is a Love Letter to Hong Kong (and HK Action)

It’s not rare to see a Hong Kong actioner that falls into the category of historical epic or period tale, but seldom has Hong Kong produced such a loving tribute to the city itself (and one demolished sub-section of it, in this case) as Soi Cheang does in “Twilight of the Warriors”.

Kowloon Walled City is a character in every sense of the word in “Twilight of the Warriors”, a living, breathing entity of walls, bricks, corridors, and crime that is the night to the wider Hong Kong day.

The set design of “Twilight of the Warriors” is proof positive of just how essential that aspect of filmmaking is to any story set in the past, the Kowloon of the film being a marriage of opposing elements – struggling yet thriving, ancient yet modern, harmonious yet conflict-ridden, and, of course under Hong Kong’s 20th century British rule, Western and Eastern.

Kowloon Walled City is, in every possible way, tangible, alive, and real in “Twilight of the Warriors”.

By the same token, “Twilight of the Warriors” is also a blast from the past in how much it captures classic Hong Kong action glory in a bottle and displays it for the whole world to see.

Soi Cheang already has one of the best Hong Kong action films of the 21st century under his belt in 2015’s “SPL 2: A Time for Consequences”, and he brings that magic in spades again with two hours of pure kung fu glory that just gets wilder and wilder.

Of course, no Hong Kong action spectacular worth its salt ever achieves that distinction without a cast game for all the stunts and action, and “Twilight of the Warriors” has that foundational component covered.

“Twilight of the Warriors” Has A Phenomenal Ensemble Cast – But Philip Ng Steals The Show!

“Twilight of the Warriors” assembles a cast of Hong Kong movie legends, rising stars, and newcomers, all of whom shine in all the best ways.

Louis Koo’s stoicism as Cyclone is a perfect combo of mentor and rival to Raymond Lam’s Chan Lok-kwan, while Sammo Hung strides across the screen as Mr. Big, a man whose name and status as Hong Kong royalty is an undeniably meta riff on Sammo’s exalted legacy (albeit with a villainous twist).

Raymond Lam also brings an underdog’s sympathy to Chan Lok-kwan, and his steady climb up the Kowloon ladder also facilitates the engaging chemistry between himself and his trio of allies Shin, Twelfth Master, and AV, the three of whom could anchor an equally fun spin-off with ease.

However, when all’s said and done, there’s simply no denying who the breakout star of “Twilight of the Warriors” is.

Philip Ng is hardly a newcomer to Hong Kong action films, his career stretching back to the early 2000’s, includes the outstanding 2014 kung fu crime epic “Once Upon A Time in Shanghai” and even him portraying none other than Bruce Lee in 2017’s fan-fiction-style biopic “Birth of the Dragon”.

Even with that much experience behind him, Phil lights up the screen like a kid in a candy store as the cocky, energetic, and supernaturally powerful King.

Echoing the sneering, cackling villains of ‘70s and ‘80s Shaw Brothers movies, Phil’s hammy joy at being a bad guy is infectiously fun, entertaining, and a blast to behold.

There are villains you love to hate, and then there are villains you just love, and Phil’s portrayal of King delivers the latter on steroids in “Twilight of the Warriors”.

The Action in “Twilight of The Warriors” is a Whirlwind – Figuratively and Literally!

With so much already going for it, “Twilight of the Warriors” is also, without reservation, the best Hong Kong action movie in years.

Action director Kenji Tanigaki orchestrates the plentiful kung fu battles in “Twilight of the Warriors”, and doesn’t so much dial everything up to 11, but more in the vicinity of 25 with the kind of kinetic power each action scene packs.

Owing to the movie’s literary and manhua origins, the action involves an abundance of wire-fu, but doesn’t sacrifice impact or strength for it in the least.

Kowloon’s role in the movie’s fight scenes also gives a distinct feeling of impact and danger to each action sequence, particularly in the fight scenes in some of the tight corridors of Hong Kong’s old borough.

It’s fair to say that Soi Cheang and Kenji wanted to put a distinct Hong Kong-flavor to the hallway battles of “The Raid” here, hitting the mark admirably in that respect while also making bladed weaponry a moot point with King’s ability to deflect blade strikes on his hardened skin and quite literally bite swords in two.

While the action of “Twilight of the Warriors” plays around with a union of hard-hitting impact and wire-fu, the finale blows the lid off into an urban “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” in the best way possible.

Chan and his three warrior allies bicycle kick across opponents like Liu Kang, for all of it to culminate in a four-on-one rooftop smackdown of King summoning his hidden supernatural might to its utmost, smashing every brick standing in his way with Phil cranking up King’s daffy glee to outright supervillain levels.

While the supernatural elements of “Twilight of the Warriors” admittedly are a bit nebulously explained on the fly, their role in the movie’s final showdown makes it an unforgettable kung fu rooftop brawl of grit, determination, and martial arts might.

Kowloon Cinematic Universe on the Way?

While the final moments of “Twilight of the Warriors” play a little bittersweet with the knowledge of what the future holds for Kowloon Walled City in the real world, the movie itself suggests that it’s just getting started as the first of many possible adventures in Hong Kong’s fabled walled city.

Just in the collection of larger-than-life characters alone, one can easily see “Twilight of the Warriors” taking its setting in many different directions (the aforementioned spin-off proposal for Shin, Twelfth Master, and AV fully warrants being on the table).

With a prequel and sequel already announced, “Twilight of the Warriors” is surely not the last rumble in Kowloon Walled City the world has seen, though following on the action-packed madness of the first chapter will be a daunting task for all who follow in its footsteps.


“Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In” is a lot like its own villain, King – a tornado of sheer power fighting a continual succession of enthralling martial arts battles in a brick-laden slum, each more over-the-top than the last with the distinct possibility of fists punching through the surrounding walls like paper mâché.

An ensemble cast and Kenji Tanigaki’s Yuen Woo-ping-worthy action direction combine to make “Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In” as Hong Kong as it gets, complete with Philip Ng having a ball as the craziest and decidedly most blade-proof bad guy in ages!

Favourite Quotes

  • “The reason you can sleep soundly isn’t the Walled City, it’s the people inside of it.” – Cyclone (explaining life in Kowloon Walled City to Chan Lok-kwan.)


  • “Twilight of the Warriors” is based upon the novel “City of Darkness” by Yuyi, as well as the eponymous manhua by Andy Seto, who has also penned many other martial arts-themed comic book series, including adaptations of “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” and “Shaolin Soccer”.
  • In January of 1987, Hong Kong announced that Kowloon Walled City was scheduled for demolition, with Kowloon Walled City officially being demolished in 1994, and Kowloon Walled City Park subsequently being established in its place.
  • Following its release in China and Hong Kong, “Twilight of the Warriors” debuted at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival.
  • Just before the release of “Twilight of the Warriors”, Sammo Hung was award a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2024 Hong Kong Film Awards.
  • Just 28 days after its May 1, 2024 release, “Twilight of the Warriors” became the second highest-grossing Hong Kong movie of all time!
  • Following the release of “Twilight of the Warriors”, a prequel and a direct sequel were both announced, with the former to take place in the 1950’s, and the latter to be set right after the first film.
  • Over the course of the movie’s two-decade development period, such big Hong Kong stars as Donnie Yen, Andy Lau, Tony Leung, and Chow Yun-fat were attached to the film at various points, while Western stars like Nicolas Cage and James McAvoy were also in talks to appear in the movie at different points in its long development period.
  • A real-life replica of Kowloon Walled City was built to serve as the set for this film.
  • Philip Ng is an exponent of Choy Li Fut, Hung Gar, and Wing Chun kung fu, having studied the latter in Hong Kong with Wong Shun-leung, one of Bruce Lee’s early mentors. Phil also holds a black belt in Taekwondo, and is well-versed in other martial arts like Boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Escrima.
  • Philip’s father, Sam Ng, owns and operates the Ng Family Martial Arts Association in Chicago, Illinois, where students train in traditional Choy Li Fut, Wing Chun, and Kung Fu Sanda.
  • Some of Kenji Tanigaki’s other movies as stunt man, stunt coordinator, fight choreographer, and action director include “The Princess Blade”, “Blade II”, “Flash Point”, “Bodyguards and Assassins”, “Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen”, “Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins”, “Raging Fire”, “Sakra”, the “Rurouni Kenshin” franchise, and Donnie Yen’s upcoming movie “The Prosecutor”.
  • Additionally, Kenji is also director of the upcoming ensemble Hong Kong martial arts action film “The Furious”, bringing together such martial arts stars as Xie Miao, Joe Taslim, Jeeja Yanin, Yayan Ruhian, and Martial Club’s Brian Le. Check out why KFK is excited for “The Furious” right here!
Twilight of the Warriors brings Hong Kong action magic to the East and the West!

Twilight of the Warriors brings Hong Kong action magic to the East and the West!

Film Rating: 8.5/10

“Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In” is now playing in Hong Kong, China, the U.K., and Ireland, and will continue its international roll-out in the coming months, with Well Go USA set to debut the movie in North America in October.

If you live in any of the territories it’s been released, have you seen “Twilight of the Warriors” yet? If you’re waiting to see “Twilight of the Warriors” in its North American debut, what is your impression of the movie’s fantastic trailers and the terrific action showcased in them so far?

Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

WARRIORS, don’t get WALLED IN, check out our review of another awesome Kowloon-set kung fu flick, “Kowloon Walled City”, and our previous interviews with Phillip Ng and Sammo Hung amongst these Top 10’s, Top 5’s, classic KFK gear, and look out for more 80’s HK ACTION classics on YouTube!

Brad Curran

From the earliest days of childhood, Brad Curran was utterly fascinated by martial arts, his passion only growing stronger after spending time living in the melting pot of Asian cultures that is Hawaii. His early exposure developed into a lifelong passion and fascination with all forms of martial arts and tremendous passion for action and martial arts films. He would go on to take a number of different martial arts forms, including Shaolin Ch'uan fa, Taekwondo, Shotokan Karate and remains a devoted student, avid and eager to continue his martial arts studies. Brad is also an aspiring writer and deeply desires to share his love for martial arts and martial arts movies with the world!

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