Jade Warrior, inspired by the myth and majesty of
the Kalevala, tells the tale of a lovestruck hero fighting
against the restrictions of modern life and searching for
love beyond time and place. In the course of his journey to
be reunited with his love, he re-discovers his true origin,
his skill as a warrior, and his unique destiny.
Warrior combines the Finnish and Chinese mythologies into
one film. Jade Warrior is a homage to Kung Fu genre strongly
spiced with a truly original approach to Finnish national
You got to applaud the Finnish for coming up with “Jade
Warrior”, a daring project which combines Chinese folklore
and infused it with elements from Finland’s epic poem,
strange mixture of cultural settings you might argue but nevertheless,
it’s a well-tweaked fantasy epic that never fails to
engage you along the way.
first 30 minutes might be a tad confusing and this is where
it will likely lose much of its impatient audience. The movie
opens with our hero Kai (Tommi Eronen) a blacksmith living
in present-day Finland. He’s despair, has lost his motive
of life after the leaving of his girlfriend, Ronja. At this
point, a mysterious man appeared at his house with a metallic-like
box. Prior attempts at opening this box proved to be futile
until the presence of Kai leads to the unlocking of the box.
this point, the story moves between ancient China and the
present. It turns out that Kai is the reincarnation of a powerful
lonesome warrior, Sentai who battles a demon and deeply in
love with a martial-arts female warrior, Pin Yu (played by
Zhang Jingchu) in his past life. As the excruciate slow plot
reveals, the box is actually known as Sampo and it holds the
power to release either hell or happiness on earth depending
on whose the one who possess it.
on a micro-budget of US$3 million, the movie boasts intricate
village sets and surprisingly believable visual effects that
will put many Hollywood movies to shame. Lesser-known action
choreographer Yu Yan Kai (who has worked on many HK martial-arts
movies such as Fong Sai-Yuk) provides a poignant, elegant
touch to the action fights. One to note is a sequence between
Kai and Pin Yu that treads along the fine line of action poetry.
cinematography is breath-taking, cold and detach taking into
account the movie was filmed on locations at the vastlands
of China, Finland and Estonia.
being an HK action fan, Director and writer Annila never overwhelms
his movie with fanciful fights sequences. Instead, his attention
to the storyplot is detailed and the performance of his Chinese
and local cast is hard to find fault with.
man Tommi Eronen who spent months perfecting his mandarin
diction deserves hell lot of credit and upcoming mainland
actress Zhang Jingchu doesn’t disappoint as the female
warrior who is torn between the love of Sentai and her supposedly-dead
conclusion, “Jade Warrior” or “Yu Zhanshi”
as known in China is a fresh, invigorating movie from the
European film circuit. If you are attracted by the fanciful
martial-arts in the trailer, the actual movie in fact is more
than a mere display of skilful moves, it’s an enchanting
tale of love, fantasy and bits, pieces of arthouse to please
fans of various genres.
The only extra features on this DVD are the music video for
the theme song of “Jade Warrior” and the trailer.
You might want to browse the official web for making-of features
or a supposedly better Swedish DVD for enhanced viewing experience.
code 6 original DVD from China is a lackluster in the audio
and visual department. I got to crank up my usual level of
volume to listen to the dialogue at times and the sound effects
are pretty weak at the bass too.
Visually, it fares even worse as there’s a couple of
“jumps” and artifacts seen throughout. As the
DVD does not come equipped with English subtitles, reliance
on my rusty command of Chinese is a must. Ironically, there’s
English subs for the trailer.
by Linus Tee