WU ASSASSINS is a new Netflix series in the action, fantasy, crime, thriller genres. The trailer actually gives a pretty good indication of what to expect. For me, it’s a new guilty pleasure that I simply enjoy watching. Read more in our Wu Assassins review here and watch it on Netflix.
Wu Assassins is a new series on Netflix. This time around it’s a treat for fans of martial arts action movies with plenty of kung-fu and a lot of fantasy elements as well. Overall, the show is working mostly with action and thriller elements, but the supernatural plot is key to the story.
If you’ve watched the trailer for Wu Assassins, then you should have a pretty good idea of what to expect. If not, you can find it at the bottom of this review or by clicking here. Basically, don’t expect to enjoy this new Netflix series if the trailer doesn’t do much for you.
For me, Wu Assassins is an instant guilty pleasure. It combines the crazy action scenes from The Raid with the old school kung fu charm of movies like The Last Dragon. Now, I grew up watching The Last Dragon (1985) so I was grinning ear to ear while watching Wu Assassins. To me, this is exactly the kind of Netflix series I want to chill out with.
Read what we feel is working for this new Netflix production (and what doesn’t) in our full Wu Assassins review below.
The perfect casting for Wu Assassins
If you’re a fan of martial arts and kung fu movies, then you must know the Indonesian movie The Raid from 2011. And also the sequel, The Raid: Retaliation (2014). These movies are a treat for anyone who likes action movies with brilliant fight scenes.
When Netflix decides to do a series that focuses on a protagonist with brilliant martial arts skills, they did the only right thing and hired Iko Uwais, the star of The Raid movies. He is absolutely fascinating to watch in a way you have to see to believe.
In Wu Assassins, Iko Uwais plays the role of Kai Jin and almost equally important is the character of C.G. (her actual name is Christine Gavin, but she goes by C.G.). To portray this firecracker of a female character, Netflix went for another brilliant choice. They got Katheryn Winnick who has been kicking ass in the Vikings series since it premiered in 2013.
Also, she was in the Netflix movie Polar which starred Danish Mads Mikkelsen (we always like to give a shout out to fellow Danes). In terms of movies in our beloved genres, she was also in the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.
Yeah, I know, you can’t win them all.
But both Iko Uwais and Katheryn Winnick are pretty damn awesome in Wu Assassins. By the way, the story takes place in San Francisco, which would have made it easy for Netflix to go with a whiter cast instead. Fortunately, since most of the characters in this new Netflix series are Asian they are (of course!) played by Asian actors.
“The Monk piece is in you”
When our main protagonist is suddenly bestowed with powers that essentially turns him into the Wu assassin, he is told “The Monk piece is in you”. Honestly, this sounds a bit creepy, but the result is damn cool. Basically, Kai gets the powers of all these old martial art heroes and he gets their face.
Essentially, this means he won’t be recognized when fighting for goodness and justice. Only problem is, the woman trying to guide him into becoming the Wu assassin tells him that he has to kill his enemies. This is not something Kai (Iko Uwais) is interested in. After all, he’s just a chef with awesome powers who – by the way – is protected by the Triad boss.
Wu Assassins does faulter a bit when it comes to some of the CGI. I was not a fan of the water dragon that showed up when Kai become part of the Wu Assassins. Fortunately, these effects are not a big part of the Netflix show. Instead, the use of CGI is for small cool tricks and martial arts for the impressive scenes.
Watch Wu Assassins on Netflix now!
Season 1 of Wu Assassins consists of 10 episodes and have a lot of both writers and directors attached. One of the directors is a star from the Netflix series as Katheryn Winnick directed one of the episodes. This is the second time she’s directing for a TV series since she also recently directed an episode of her hit series Vikings.
The San Francisco backdrop is damn gorgeous and the cast is great. Especially Li Jun Li (The Exorcist season 1) as Jenny has a lot more to her than what you might believe. Also, I do adore Mark Dacascos (John Wick 3) who is the face and body of one of the monks that Kai turns into as the Wu assassin.
If you like kitsch Kung Fu movies with awesome martial arts action scenes and some supernatural elements, then do check this series out. And if that’s not your thing, then don’t expect to enjoy Wu Assassins and simply choose something else on Netflix.
Season 1 of Wu Assassins is out on Netflix worldwide from August 8, 2019.
Stars: Iko Uwais, Katheryn Winnick, Byron Mann, Li Jun Li, Lawrence Kao, JuJu Chan
Wu Assassins follows Kai Jin, a young Chinatown chef in present day San Francisco, as he becomes entangled with the Chinese Triad’s pursuit of deadly ancient powers known as the “Wu Xing.” After an encounter with a mystical spirit, Kai reluctantly becomes the Wu Assassin, using his enhanced martial arts skills to recover supernatural powers from five modern day criminals threatening to use them to destroy the world.