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.
“The Fins do wuxia.” Something isn’t quite right about that statement, but that’s not going to stop first-time writer/director Antti-Jussi Annila. The writer/director of “Jade Warrior” has constructed an earnest melodrama set against the backdrop of the familiar Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil motif, set in Ancient China and modern Finland with doses of wuxia swordplay and the accompanying caveat that one should really pay attention, because the film has no uses for explaining itself more than once. To be sure, there’s nothing here that will bend time and space, but Annila has chosen to forge his screenplay on the basis of providing as little information as possible, resulting in a film that, once you survive past the first purposefully convoluted and muddled 40 minutes, is surprisingly engaging and, ultimately, rewarding.
Our tale of grand love that reaches across time (or somesuch) begins with lovelorn blacksmith Kai (Tommi Eronen) mourning the end of his relationship to girlfriend Ronja (Krista Kosonen). Meanwhile, an archaeologist unearths what looks to be ancient remains of two lovers that passed away thousands of years ago, with the man clutching a heavy metallic case constructed of material that should not exist at the era in question. By a serious of cinematic circumstances, it is discovered that the case only reacts when it comes into contact with Kai’s DNA.
This sends Chinese shop curator Berg (Markku Peltola, “Book of Fate”) to Kai’s house, where the case is opened and an evil force is awaken, inhabiting Berg’s body and forcing Kai to forge a mythical device called the Sampo. And in doing so, Kai begins to relive his past life, back in a time when he was a lovelorn warrior destined to defeat the son of Hell itself.