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on December 30, 2010
If you're looking for a movie that is Academy Award quality, you're in the wrong place. But if you're in the mood for a cheesy but kick-ass action flick, Legendary Assassin absolutely delivers.

I love deep movies that make you think. But like any red-blooded man, sometimes I just need an adrenaline-pumping action movie. This film offers great fight sequences, sprinkles of intentionally corny humor, and bone-crunching action. The fight scenes were choreographed by Nicky Li, an official member of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team for over 15 years. If you've seen Rumble in the Bronx, Rush Hour, or any other Jackie Chan flick, you've witnessed Li's fight choreography.

The film was shot surprisingly well, and has a terrific music score. I was impressed with the fact that this was the directorial debut of Wu Jing AKA Jacky Wu, who also plays the lead character Bo, a soft-spoken stranger who carries a mysterious bag everywhere. Legendary Assassin also marks the acting debut of the amazingly beautiful Hong King singer Celina Jade, starring as small-town police officer.

If there's any drawback to the movie, it's that there is virtually no character development or backstories. While most of the film's characters are memorable, and have their own unique vibe, you really don't get to learn anything about them. There's not much to the plot itself, and even Bo's motive for being an assassin isn't revealed until the film's conclusion. But despite that minor frustration, there's also a small twist revealed in the final scene that I was totally surprised to have not picked up on earlier in the film.

The film was shot in Hong Kong, and the dialogue is Cantonese with English subtitles. The DVD extra features include two short featurettes: The Making of Legendary Assassin, and The Characters of Legendary Assassin. The "making of" feature offers great insight as to why the lead character wears a wolf fang around his neck, and also provides details on the actors and production.

Overall, I thought this was a great action flick. It was intentionally shot to be kind of corny like an 80's martial arts movie, but the fight scenes definitely deliver. If you're a fan of Jackie Chan flicks, you should absolutely check out Legendary Assassin.
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on March 30, 2011
This marks (Jacky) Wu Jing's directorial debut, where he plays hired killer Bo Tong Lam, stranded on an island near Hong Kong, immediately after the fresh kill of a triad boss. He seems content minding his own business, waiting for the storm to pass, when he prevents an accident involving an attractive female officer (the captivating Celina Jade, soon to appear in the RZA's "Man With the Iron Fists"). They are having a nice lunch (presumably @ Long John Silvers) when she gets a radio call about 3 suspects, matching the description of some fellow diners. The apprehension attempt does not go well (these dudes are huge) and Bo reluctantly helps her, garnering more unwanted attention from the police who welcome him at the station as a hero. Will he make it off the island before the cops discover his identity and/or the triads find him?

Well, I was one of the few who liked the teaming of Wu Jing with choreographer Nicky Li in "Fatal Contact" (2006). Hey, I like good fights, and in my opinion, "FC" has some of the best, in exactly the manner I like 'em: fast, precise, fluid, and brutal, with long takes and few wires. Unfortunately "FC" also has a boring plot with (mostly) unlikable characters. "Legendary Assassin" is a (slight) improvement in the plot and character department (except for the insufferable Sammy Leung) but the fights are definitely a step in the WRONG direction. Are they awful? No, but they're extremely disappointing when considering the main duo involved. I always complain about wires but I actually don't mind them when they're not blatantly obvious. They should aid fight scenes, not star in them! The wire-work here is better than most, but that ain't sayin' much. Acting's about the same, which is not great but functional, though it should be noted that my cinematic passion lies in action films, where thespian chops are typically neglected or ignored completely. Wu Jing is an improving actor and AMAZING athlete who even shows potential as a director but needs better roles if he wants to be an international star.

Anyway, I debated about the rating. It's probably more like a 3.5 out of 5, but I asked myself a couple of difficult questions: Did I like it? Will I watch it multiple times? Yep and most likely. The DVD from Lionsgate certainly doesn't hurt with an excellent widescreen picture and a handful of standard special features. In Cantonese or English with optional subtitles available in English or Spanish. The biggest surprise of this flick is the "Seasonal Films" logo, present at the beginning of the movie! I thought they went under? With half their library remaining unreleased on DVD, a comeback would certainly be encouraged by me!

2008. aka: Wolf Fang
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on March 24, 2014
I am pleased with this first Jacky (Wu Jing) picture from beginning to end. An assassin (Wu Jing) as Bo Tang Lak has a job to do and gets waylaid. Everything is explained sufficiently to expect the well-choreographed fights and the manhunt for the killer(assassin) on the loose. His escapes at every turn surprise as much as his martial skills. The coincidental assistance from the local police (and the love-interest) officer (Celine Jade; a Sally Kellerman resemblance) was natural and a wonderful respite from the building body count. Here, the story expands to allow some heart to enter, an unusual plot device that works long enough to provide entrapping the wily assassin in an all-out fight against tremendous odds at the climax, who sees another day. Actually, the character of Bo Tang Lak owes much to the noir work of Alan Ladd, except that he used a gun and his fists. The plot was not as thin as some suspect; it was well-trod by the likes of Ladd or Clint Eastwood.
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on July 20, 2014
Wu jing is the most under rated martial artist he's also a good actor.this was written and filmed well. while there's a little comedy in this but its a romance movie with lots of bone crushing action with an intelligent plot.. the only stupid thing about this was the cover art
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on November 7, 2011
I love the movie. Lot of action from the begining to the end. The movie was in great shape the people in the show was awsome.
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on June 9, 2013
This is the first movie I saw with Jacky Wu and I'm definitely looking for more. Who cries over an assassin? Me. The ending fight scene is so over the top you can't buy into it but I cried anyway.
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on December 16, 2013
I loved this movie because it showed a different side of Jacky Wu Jing. The fight with the 100 was great. I just wish that the ending was different.... other than that, I love this film.
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on March 8, 2014
Spectacular fight sequences. Really hits you emotionally. I found myself crying at some point. The fights really make this movie though. If that's what you wanna see, you'll get it here.
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on March 3, 2011
You want some Wu Jing We got him, which is all this dvd can claim. The cover has him holding a sword so i figured he's going to use a sword, but he never does, he never even lays his hand on one. SO, false advertising right off the bat.

I rented it for free from redbox and still could barely watch it over 2 days in separate 30 min sessions.
Its really the worst of HK film now a days. No plotting, terrible story, bad acting, poorly constructed 1/2 dimensional characters, bad action, lots of wire work. The fight and action scenes are flat out stupid.

The only thing of note were the cooking and eating scenes which came off as pretty realistic.

Check out Tai chi master 2 Fatal contact or invisible target if you want real Wu Jing, the true spirit of HK film, and blistering action.
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on August 26, 2015
Acyion, action, and did I mention it had action? the plot is thin, but the action scenes more than make up for it. the last fight cene is the best iv seen inyears
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