We’ve all heard of the greats like Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, and Donnie Yen, but there are always rising stars that pop up in films from time to time that usually float below the radar. Legendary Assassin looked really good and was somewhat like the hope of many Wu Jing fans, that this might be the next step for Wu to climb up the ladder into stardom. Legendary Assassin takes place on a Hong Kong island, kicking things off with Bo taking out a crime boss. His next step is getting off the island, but a Typhoon Signal No. 8 cuts off all transport to the mainland. So from there, he is basically on the run as people look for him.
As action movies go, Legendary Assassin is blazingly unimaginative, so it naturally falls upon the film’s star to carry the proceedings. I don’t think the actor was seasoned enough to take over the lead role. No doubt, the fight scenes here are well choreographed and brutal, especially the epic final battle. But, with only a 85 minute running time, we can only ask for so much. Legendary Assassin might not captivate many with its overall story. It might also turn off a few purest since they included the addition of wires to the fights. Actually it is an extensive use of wires, which are brought into action when performing even the smallest flying kick. A few realistic moves of Wu would have been so much more impressive.
Where Legendary Assassin does score is with its set pieces and minor details. I’m also all for romance in my action films. The subplot played out nicely and I felt they wrapped it up very nicely. Ultimately, Legendary Assassin is easy to forgive but hard to completely appreciate, as it only scratches the surface of Wu Jing’s abilities. I would track down the fight scenes and leave it at that, as this film left a bad taste in my mouth given the paper thin plot and poor execution.
The film itself remains only recommendable to fans of the genre. There aren’t a whole lot of opponents in this movie that are in Wu’s league skill-wise – the most impressive one on one is with Tenky Tin, so we get a lot of action scenes where Bo is taking on multiple opponents. As I said before, the film may not offer anything new in terms of story, but I would still recommend it for its very well executed action sequences and Wu Jing’s presence alone. Wu Jing can really do a lot more than this. Hopefully a project will come along that will allow him to show that off.