Movie Review: Jade Warrior (2006)

Jade Warrior (2006- Finland/China)
Stars: Tommi Eronen,  Markku Peltola, Jingchu Zhang, Krista Kosonen
Director: Antti-Jussi Annila

Every now and then, a film comes along which hits you just right, at the right time, in the right way. For me, Jade Warrior is one of these films. Beautifully lensed by director Annila, this movie steps beyond its paltry Netflix description, which claims it is about a modern-day man being whisked back to a previous life in ancient China in order to battle a horrific demon. Certainly, there are elements of this in the story, but the bones of the tale is the Finnish epic poem, The Kalevala, and the link between it and an ancient Chinese legend. The story turns around a smith, who creates a small machine-box called the Sampo, which is considered a source of happiness. Only the smith’s touch sets the machine in motion, opening the box and exposing its contents. In the Chinese legend, a demon steals the Sampo. The smith’s dealings with the demon, both in ancient China, and reincarnated in modern Finland, are at the crux of this film. It’s also a tale of love, loss, mystery, and a fair amount of martial arts. Don’t look for all-out action, though- this is form and grace over frenzy. And highly recommended. Time for Eric to look up a few more Finnish films.¬†Grade: B+

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