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Featured TV on DVD Review: Legendary Assassin

December 27th, 2010

Legendary Assassin - Buy from Amazon

Legendary Assassin is the third or fourth film of Jacky Wu's I've reviewed, but it is significant because it also marks his directorial debut. He certainly has the raw talent to be in a martial arts movie, but will he be able to craft a film that shows off his talent?

The Movie

We meet Bo Tong Lam (Jacky Wu) as he is scarfing down food at a small restaurant. He's obviously good friends with the owner / chef and hadn't seen her in a while. But he's not in town long and soon he's off on a business trip to a small island, and judging from the title of the movie, it's obvious what that business is. He's there to kill a local Triad crime boss, named Chairman Ma, and to take his head, before leaving the island.

At least that's the plan.

Part A of the plan happens really fast, as in before the opening credits are over fast. However, Part B of the plan, getting the hell out of town, hits a snag as a powerful typhoon cancels all ferry service to the island. Worse still, the final ferry brings to the island a whole gaggle of Triad soldiers trying to find out what's happened to Chairman Ma. (He's stopped answering his phone and unlike many other criminal organizations, that's enough to send a small army to investigate.) While trying to find someplace to eat and wait things out, Bo rescues a young lady, Holly (singer / songwriter / model Celina Jade, making her acting debut) who was in turn trying to rescue her cat from a tree. She's cute, which is a good thing, but it turns out she's a cop, which is mixed. After helping her out again, this time taking down some bank robbers, he gains the trust of the rest of the cops, mostly. One of them named Tarzan takes an instant dislike to him, mainly because he has a crush on Holly and thinks Bo is the competition.

However, when the cops do find the headless crime boss, they start looking for the killer, not knowing it is Bo. Tarzan's quick to point the finger at Bo, and he does make a rather convincing case. So know Bo has to deal with the Triads on one side, and the increasingly suspicious police on the other.

I've seen Jacky Wu in a number of films and have liked a lot of his work in the past, including Invisible Target (review) and Fatal Contact (review). But this is not his finest hour. There's nothing overtly wrong with the film, but for a martial arts movie, it is just average, and quite frankly, Jacky Wu has the talent to do better than this. I was impressed by Celina Jade's acting debut and look forward to seeing more of her work.

The Extras

There are two relatively short featurettes, the first a making of featurette, while the second is a cast / character overview. The total running time is less than ten minutes, so that's not a lot of extras.

The Verdict

Legendary Assassin should entertain fans of martial arts movies, for the most part. There's not a lot here that is new or inventive, while there's quick a bit of time between big fight scenes. But Jacky Wu has plenty of talent and Celina Jade can kick an ass or two as well, and despite almost no extras, the DVD is a solid rental, leaning towards a purchase.

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