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.