Jade Warrior (2006/Lionsgate DVD)
B- Sound: C Extras: C Film: B+
ancient artifact Sampo is un-earthed, the wheels of fate begin to turn in, a
down-on-his-luck blacksmith began having visions of a previous life, he was an
ancient Chinese warrior in Antti-Jussi Annila’s Jade Warrior (2006). The
Sampo is said to be able to create unending happiness, but it could only be
opened when all hope was lost, and the last time it was opened there was a
demon seeking to enslave mankind. With
nothing to lose the blacksmith he proceeds to then forge the Sampo, but with
each step he begins to remember what happened in his former life...
This film was based on a Finnish legend and set in ancient China with Chinese
martial arts combat. As the modern day
blacksmith recalls his past life as a half-Finnish half-Chinese warrior. As he remembers more of the past, he
realizes is not alone, another spirit proceeds to tell him how to forge
the relic, but who is this spirit, a friend or foe? Will he get his wish or is
the demon just using him?
This film was an interesting blend of two cultures. It combines Finnish "Kalevala"
mythology in a Chinese culture. The
title "Jade Warrior" has more meaning than you might expect. In Chinese culture, 'Jade' a precious stone
often buried with a body, which represents long life and is associated with the
idea of reincarnation. The 'Sampo' comes
from the Finnish folklore it is much like the English Grail myth, or the
Arabian Magic lamp in bring good fortune, granting one's wish or long/eternal
life. The story is about how a hero
fights evil and then returns to his love side, but when tragedy occurs, the
hero dies before he is reunited and he becomes trapped in the wheel of karma. He is then doomed to search for her in each
his reincarnations for eternity, but only to never find her. As the story proceeds, the
blacksmith tries to break the cycle of tragic karma.
anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image looks good, especially considering this
is apparently a 16mm film shoot of some sort.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is not as wide-=ranging as I hoped for and I
was disappointed overall. Extras include
trailers and behind the scenes/making of Jade
- Ricky Chiang