[DVD Review] Jade Warrior

Jade Warrior, or Jadesoturi, is not a full-fledged martial arts film. The cover of the DVD may lead you to believe otherwise but I assure you, there are three major fights in the film and a number of smaller scuffles, and none of them would qualify the film as a “cross-cultural martial arts epic.” On the other hand, Jade Warrior, a Chinese-Finnish production budgeted at $3.5 million, is a film that requires and rewards patience. A perplexing, sometimes downright confusing take on two distinct mythologies, the film works best as a Finnish reworking of Chinese Wuxia themes. This is a martial arts art film, far from the high-flying action of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and closest in spirit to the second reel of Jet Li starrer Fearless. As it is, the film is a pleasant surprise, a mature, professional production that rises well above many shoestring, brainless martial arts would-be epics.
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