One of the last of the Old School Hong Kong martial arts flicks, this one deals with a legendary competition in swordplay and fighting that ends up being fought between two great warriors, ... See full summary »
The Green Jade Statuette, plotwise, seems to be a loose kung fu take on The Maltese Falcon, with various villains and fighters vying for the titular object. I'm only a casual martial arts fan, didn't know any of the actors going into this film, and wasn't initially excited, but found it rewarding viewing in the end.
Stylistically, The Green Jade Statuette is typical of old school kung fu films, but the more substantial plotting and character development distinguishes it somewhat from the run of the mill, with mysteries running the course of the film and enigmatic characters whose motives take shape only gradually.
While too many kung fu films feature fairly generic battles between hotheaded men who seem to break into furious violence for no particular reason, The Green Jade Statuette boasts fights which will increasingly matter to the viewer, rather than simply being gratuitous. The final three-way duel at the Buddhist temple is especially involving and picturesque.
The previous reviewer's complaint about the merciless cropping at the sides of the Ocean Shores video also goes for Tai Seng's DVD release, unfortunately. Still, I would recommend this film to old school kung fu fans who are willing to sit through a little more plot than usual.
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