Thousands of years ago in ancient China, a love struck sword hero fights against his destiny. He wants another chance to be reunited with his loved one and he gets that chance, in a far ...
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Thousands of years ago in ancient China, a love struck sword hero fights against his destiny. He wants another chance to be reunited with his loved one and he gets that chance, in a far away place and a far away time, in the cold north, in modern Finland. Jade Warrior is set in ancient China early iron age and present day Finland. The past is feeding the story in present day, slowly revealing our warrior his real origin, his superior skills and his destiny. Jade Warrior - the first Finnish Kung Fu film - combines Finnish and Chinese mythologies into one film. Jade Warrior is an homage to Kung Fu genre strongly spiced with a truly original approach to Finnish national epic Kalevala. Like Kalevala Jade Warrior is a pure melodrama. A story of Kalevala's greatest hero.Written by
The Chinese writing shown in the film (in Pin Yu's village and on Sintai's clothes, sword, casket, etc.) is in the "seal script" which was first standardized and used as the official script in 3rd century B.C.E., after the First Emperor Qin unified China. See more »
[All goofs for this title are spoilers.]
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Did you just put a sword in my stomach?
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I heard about this movie over a year before its release, and followed the progress of the project with mild curiosity throughout the production. When it finally premiered, I expected to see a campy martial arts film with tongue-in-cheek action sequences, and a feeble plot. What I got was the opposite; the movie turned out to be much less of a Kung Fu film than it was cracked up to be, but I was pleasantly surprised with the plot and the character development. Thus, I left the theatre with mixed feelings, though my general opinion of the movie was more on the positive side.
The first third of the film is rather... odd. It opens with a stunning scene set in ancient Finland, but when the story shifts into modern times, it temporarily loses its touch. The plot is dragging, and characters are introduced in a way that leaves the viewer confused about who they are, what they want, and what has happened to them prior to point where the story picks up with them. I suppose it's the director's fault that half of the time everything the characters do feels irrational and pointless. However, when the plot line set in ancient China kicks off, the quality of the movie immediately improves. The parallel stories support each other, the main character gets more depth, and the pace of the story becomes steadier. By the end of the movie, the two plot lines have neatly entwined into a coherent whole, providing the story a beautiful finale in perfect contrast to the messy beginning. In the end, the plot manages to even out its flaws, though only scarcely.
What I particularly liked about Jadesoturi was the delightfully original plot. Generally speaking, the plots of Kung Fu movies aren't exactly epitomes of originality and great character development, and I expected that the makers of the first and only Finnish Kung Fu movie ever wouldn't even need to bother themselves with a proper script as long as the action scenes work. That's why I was surprised that not only did Jadesoturi manage to tell a tremendously humane story about a man's fear and desperation when facing the inevitable, it also provided believable character development and an unexpected twist ending. And all free of the typical Hollywood clichés! The hero isn't your average sword-shielding action god, but a lonely, insecure man with a painful desire to love and be loved, who consciously disregards the greater good in order to pursue personal happiness. Even his name is an apt pun - Kai meaning "perhaps", and the 'pelko' part of his surname Pelkonen meaning "fear". His inner conflict is the heart of the movie, and the one thing that sets this movie apart from all the rest.
In addition to the good plot, the movie contains lots of beautiful imagery, like the shots of Kai's rundown workshop, and the secluded Chinese village. The action sequences are quite stunning, though more artistic than realistic. I also liked most of the actors. These are the reasons why I personally enjoyed the film enough to be able to forgive the movie for its flaws - such as the weak beginning, the pointless subplot including Ronja and Berg's co-worker, and the Worst Evil Scheme Thought Up By A Villain Ever (seriously, am I the only one why is still confused about what the demon was trying to achieve with his cunning plan in the first place?). Jadesoturi has also been criticized for the lack of Kung Fu scenes, which are limited to the minimum. I personally think the problem isn't the lack of martial arts itself, but the fact that it was marketed as a Kung Fu movie even though the emphasis was on the drama, not on the action. It's more of a fantasy/drama film with Kung Fu elements, rather than the reverse.
My opinion? Jadesoturi is an interesting movie, but not an outstanding one. It has plenty of flaws, but also an original story to tell.
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