Director: AJ Annila
Production design & Props:
Jukka Uusitalo, Tiina Tuovinen
Jade Warrior is an epic love story about battle between good and evil. It combines fantasy and kung fu and takes its inspiration in the Finnish folk lore compilation known as The Kalevala. The film connects Finnish and Chinese mythology. The events take place in two different times and places: in modern Finland and in ancient China.
Jade Warrior is an imaginative, visually impressive motion picture, which was completed by creating special effects never before witnessed in Finnish cinema. The effects include skillful fighting scenes, breathtakingly beautiful scenery as well as magnificent crowd scenes.
Visually, “Jade Warrior” looks good. I had no complaints at how the scenes were staged, shot or edited. Sometimes it’s even exceptional, even if the CGI is a little gratuitous. http://bitfister.com/martialhorror/jade/
That aside, in pure visual terms the film offers some good action choreography, although most of it on a small scale. Costumes, sets and locations seem well designed, as does the general cinematography. Not as bright as some Chinese action films like Hero or House of Flying Daggers, but in that direction, linking the film more to big-budget wuxia films that any other Nordic film ever. Made on a small budget, it’s quite amazing how they managed to create so many sets and props, not to mention action scenes never before seen in a Nordic film. Other aspects such as acting (by Tommi Eronen, Markku Peltola, Jingchu Zhang, Krista Kosonen, Hao Dang, Taisheng Chen and others), music and special effects (of which some are digital) also work well.
Shot on a budget of merely two and a half million Euros Jade Warrior is a simply gorgeous film to look at, beautifully designed and detailed and shot in a series of dramatic locations. When CG is used to bolster the imagery Annila wisely chooses to leave his stylistic tweaks slight, giving the film a just slightly otherworldly, yet still recognizable, feel.
The interior of smithy was build in studio in Pori, Finland. Hunters camp (winter scene) was build in Kuusamo, Finland.
The exterior of smithy was build in Estonia, same as exterior and interior of smith’s apartment. The archive and metal store were also build in Estonia.
Ancient village was build in Fang Yan, China.