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JADE WARRIOR aka Jadesoturi (Finland)


Genre: Fantasy/Martial-Arts
Starring: Tommi Eronen, Markku Peltola, Zhang Jingchu, Krista Kosonen, Dang Hao, Cheng Taisheng, Elle Kull
Director: Antti-Jussi Annila
Rating: PG

Year Made: 2006
Links: http://www.jadewarrior.net/




- "Fate" MTV
- Trailer




Languages: Finnish/Mandarin
Subtitles: Chinese
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 4x3
Sound: Dolby Digital
Running Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Region Code: 6
Distributor: Warner Home Entertainment China




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.

Jade 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 epic Kalevala.


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, “Kalevala”.

A 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.

The 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.

At 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.

Filmed 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.

The cinematography is breath-taking, cold and detach taking into account the movie was filmed on locations at the vastlands of China, Finland and Estonia.

Despite 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.

Leading 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 boyfriend.

In 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.


This 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.



Review by Linus Tee


Other movies starring Zhang Jingchu:

. Rush Hour 3

. Protege

. Seven Swords


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