Notable Cast: Ti Lung, Lo Lieh
As my Chor Yuen kick continues on courtesy of Well Go USA and their delivery of his films on a regular basis, "Jade Tiger" easily has to be his best I've seen thus far. Where the detective fun of "Clan Of Amazons" and "The Duel Of The Century" was limited by some odd fantasy elements, "Jade Tiger" goes straight for the moral jugular. It breaks down its rather basic and quintessential revenge and clan feud plot into a series of mystery betrayals where the lines of good and evil blur heavily and the damn thing works with a significant amount of effectiveness. It's centered on a strong lead performance from Ti Lung and Chor Yuen's epic visual style only add onto its strong writing for a grand tale 'what the hell is going on' without succumbing to the fantasy world.
Two clans that have been at war for a hundred years find themselves in a wicked game of chess as their struggle against one another grinds down. When the son (Ti Lung) of the Chao clan has his wedding interrupted and a traitor in his family behead his father, he takes his personal vendetta to the next level. He vows to kill his father's killer by infiltrating the venomous Tang clan to find the traitor. Along the way he begins to see the moral gray of his situation as the lines of loyalty blur and the death toll rises.
|"You laugh at my hat, but...no you're right. It's pretty funny."|
|"Yes, a tiny net is a death sentence, it's a net and it's tiny!" (Quote from "Kung Pow")|
With "Jade Tiger", it feels like the best of all classic Shaw Bros elements are represented in full. Even with its somewhat confusing use of many, many characters, the film flows with an almost vigorous pacing that really pushes the strong performances and great battle sequences up a notch. "Jade Tiger" might not be a flawless film, but its strong story and impressive execution make it one of my favorites and Chor Yuen's best that I've seen.
Written By Matt Reifschneider