The Jade Raksha is a Shaw Brothers Martial Arts Wuxia film from 1968 directed by Ho Meng-Hua with Chang Pei-Pei, Tang Ching, Yang Chi-Ching, Ku Feng, and more! The Jade Raksha was recently released on Blu-ray as part of the Shout Factory Shaw Brothers Classics Collection Volume 1.
At the heart of the story was the remarkable Chang Pei-Pei, who delivered an exceptional performance as Leng Qiu Han, also known as The Jade Raksha. A skilled martial artist and assassin, her unique approach to hunting victims involved tormenting them through a song.
Tang Ching shined as Xu Ying Hao, a character who opposed The Jade Raksha yet unexpectedly came to her aid and helped recover her sword in the movie’s opening scenes.
As the narrative unfolded, we were introduced to the enigmatic Master Yan Tian Long, portrayed by Yang Chi-Ching, a mastermind with a vast underground lair, a true hallmark of early Shaw Brothers films. The intriguing layers of the plot were further enriched as Master Yan manipulated Tang Ching into aiding him by caring for his mother.
A compelling subplot added depth to the narrative, as Tang Ching sought vengeance for his father’s murder. However, a surprising twist reminiscent of M. Night Shyamalan‘s storytelling style altered his course. Tang Ching’s unexpected romantic entanglement with the daughter of his father’s murderer, played by Ku Feng, added complexity to his motivations.
The film builds towards a thrilling climax, featuring a daring rescue mission and a spectacular fight inside Master Yan’s hidden lair. However, some fighting choreography between Chang Pei-Pei and Master Yan felt a bit messy, making it challenging for viewers to follow the action. Nevertheless, this did not diminish the film’s overall impact, as Chang Pei-Pei ultimately achieved her revenge.
As “The Jade Raksha” reached its conclusion, Chang Pei-Pei’s character conceded to Tang Ching’s wishes, allowing him to marry another. While the resolution felt satisfying, there was a sense that a scene may have been missing, particularly in terms of the pending showdown between Tang Ching and Ku Feng’s characters.
Tang Ching’s performance was particularly notable, and the film successfully blended elements of romance, revenge, and martial arts prowess. While some action sequences could have been more polished, the overall impact was undeniable.