Netflix’s Wu Assassins: The fighting is the only saving grace

Wu Assassins

Iko Uwais and Mark Dacascos are known in the martial arts world thanks to their films like The Raid and John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. The two join forces in Netflix’s Wu Assassins, where Uwais plays a chef who receives the power of 1,000 monks. One of the monks is played by Dacascos, and together they must stop a dangerous Triad leader. We were able to preview 3 of the 10 episodes, and the show has some intense action sequences. However, the dialogue and some of the acting can be a bit cringey.

Iko Uwais plays Kai Jin, a chef working on having his own food truck. Sometimes dreams can be delayed if one’s past won’t allow them to break free from the Triad life. Kai’s obstacle is Uncle Six, a ruthless crime lord who’ll do anything to stay at the top.

It’s nice to see Uwais play a lighter role, and his English is not that bad. His performance reminds me of Jackie Chan, where he plays a nice guy who can punch his way out of trouble. Katheryn Winnick, who played Lagertha in History’s Vikings, really gets to show off her real-life martial arts skills, and it’s definitely a dream role for a martial artist to be teamed up with Uwais.

Even though Uwais’ character is reminiscent of Jackie Chan, the action is definitely rated R. The first episode opens with a hallway fight scene where he takes out a bunch of goons with his fists, which definitely was inspired by The Raid.

Uwais receives a special item that imbues him with the power of 1,000 different monks. Mark Dacascos is one of the monks, and when Uwais fights like one of them, he transforms into them. It’s a cheesy concept, but if you’ve watched a lot of fantasy martial arts films or shows, then you should feel right at home.

Let’s face it, many will be watching the series to see Iko Uwais and Mark Dacascos kick ass. Everything else is pretty much filler. The acting is laughably bad for some of the cast, and it’s noticeable when you see them act opposite a capable actor. The dialogue is also cheesy, and when you add that with the acting, it’s good for a laugh.

Wu Assassins shines with its brutal and bloody martial arts action from Iko Uwais and Mark Dacascos. The same can’t be said of the dialogue and some of the acting from the supporting cast. If you’re a fan of Iko, definitely give this a watch, but don’t expect anything amazing.

Score: 3/5 Atoms

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