Crazy Stone is an antidote to supposedly great movies that fail to meet expectations. Take for example, The House of Flying Daggers, The Promise, and The Music Box. All of them are big budget movies, with all-star casts and tons of computer generated images but with weak storylines. Crazy Stone, on the other hand, is a cleverly funny flick, which may well be the best comedy of 2006.
An invaluable piece of jade is discovered in a factory that is about to be shutdown. It provides the factory owner with new-found hope, who decides to hold a jade exhibition to raise money to pay his employees. However, this precious piece of jade has not gone unnoticed by an international criminal mastermind who hatches a nefarious plan to get hold of it. At the same time the factory’s director of security leads his team in a mission to protect the jade so that the factory can survive. The film’s action centers around the exploits of these groups in trying to foil each other’s plans.
Crazy Stone is similar to The Ladykillers, with baddies getting their just desserts no matter how crafty they are. The humor of the movie is different to the kind found in films like Kung Fu Hustle and A World with Thieves—there’re no fancy costumes, pretty faces or beautiful scenery. Crazy Stone is funny in a bold and direct way. The film’s scenarios are pleasingly realistic. There’s the security director whose illness makes going to the toilet difficult; his lackey who’s always thinking about winning the lottery; the factory owner whose sneaky son is a constant cause of grief; and the criminal mastermind who is depressed because his girlfriend is having an affair. The entire cast succeeds in presenting the characters’ emotions—whether they be anxiety, desire, or greed—in the most natural way.
What makes Crazy Stone a hit is its original plot and how it focuses on satisfying the audience in a way that big budget films can’t, despite a hefty expenditure and beautiful people. Ning Hao and his cast of common faces have succeeded in making a film that should cheer up anyone who sees it.—Renee Chen