Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Writer/director Antti-Jussi Annila's picture Jade Warrior (Jade Soturi) takes as its starting-off point an arresting and little-known fact -- the similarity of Chinese and Finnish mythologies -- and uses it to combine two seemingly unrelated genres: the quirky Finnish fantasy (typified by the works of Kaurismaki) and the Chinese martial arts film. Inspired by a well-known Finnish epic called The Kalevala, the story opens with a down-on-his luck hardware merchant who gets dumped by his girlfriend. She tries to dispose of his collection of Asian artifacts at an antique dealer, but this sets off a mythical series of events that turns the merchant into a warrior prince, fated to battle a demon in icy northern Finland, responsible for enslaving all of humankind. The prince is abetted -- and then ultimately betrayed -- by a two-faced female warrior who has captured his heart and thus carries his greatest weakness in her hands. The battle involves enchanted boxes, spectacular swordfights, and supernatural events that come together -- simultaneously -- in an isolated cabin on the outskirts of Helsinki and in the rural Chinese mountains. Tommi Eronen, Markku Peltola, Zhang Jing-chu, and Krista Kosonen co-star; Annila co-authored the script with Petri Jokiranta.
antique-dealer, demon, merchant, mythological-legends, quest, supernatural-forces, warrior