EIGHTEEN JADE may not be as classy as a Shaw Bros epic, but there's an interesting blending of the murder-mystery that makes the movie worth catching. A white-maned powerhouse Lord goes off to duel with a swordsman rival and ends up being murdered. The Lord's house then sets about hiring assassins to kill the rival, whom they believe is the back-stabbing killer. Along the way, two young warriors (probably the most uninteresting, and in the girl's case, annoying of the characters) are hired but are unsure that the swordsman rival is the murderer. The two then begin to question likely suspects, other rivals of the Lord, who may have been involved.
The jade arhats are a side-plot involving the girl warrior and her murdered family. She is on a mission of revenge, but the contrivance does lead the warriors to the true killer.
Because of the pompous, snide "heroes," there is no suspense when they are endangered. However, this aside, the various revelations they uncover, and the final climatic battle with the killer, are expertly-handled. The mystery experiment is not wasted.
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