I really wanted to like Legendary Assassin. The film stars Wu Jing (Jacky Wu) as a lone man who comes into town, kills a crime lord and cuts off his head, then has to deal with falling in love for a policewoman. Unfortunately, the police are on the hunt for the murderer of the crime lord, and so is the whole crime sindicate.
It’s a pretty generic story, and I thought with the inclusion of Wu Jing, the film could overcome its faults and be a fun kung fu action romp. There’s not enough of those nowadays – too often, they try to make action films “smarter,” which isn’t a bad thing, but I miss the days of Commando and films of the like.
Wu Jing (Jacky Wu) was great in the last couple of films, Kill Zone and Inivisible Target. LOVED Invisible Target. I really had high hopes for Legendary Assassin. Unfortunately, while the flick has some great action sequences, they’re not great enough to make this film worth your time.
More after the jump.
The film’s first action set piece, and actually the majority of the action, really isn’t anything special. Maybe I’m jaded from seeing some excellent action films, but these just felt like nothing new. A set piece in an outdoor diner, and the final one, where Wu Jing (his character’s name is Bo) fights 100 men in the rain, were really great, but they were about the only things in the film that really stood out.
Celina Jade, who plays the love interest/policewoman, is actually very beautiful, but, like most of the actors in the film, has a knack for overacting. Most everyone in the film hams up their role, from the obese crime stooge, to the paranoid geek police officer, it all just seems like they picked up the action film stereotypes, handed out the roes, and told everyone to ham it up. Unfortunately, the film lacks the humor needed to really make overacting enjoyable. Overly sentimental flashbacks add to the general cheesiness of the film.
I know I’m giving Legendary Assassin a hard time, but I really was expecting more. After the hard hitting Inivisible Target, and the other great action films we’ve seen out of China these last couple of years, this really should have knocked the ball out of the park. Nothing negative to say about Wu Jing though – the man is exceptionally talented and really kicks all kind of @$$. Anyone who can stand toe-to-toe with the excellent Donnie Yen and not blend into the scenery is someone to write home about. Oh well…here’s hoping his next flick is better.
Paul’s Awesomeness Score – 5 out of 10
You can buy Legendary Assassin from YesAsia.