Not all of Netflix’soriginal shows and movies get promoted in your screen feed, but have youseen notifications about Wu Assassins in your inbox? There isn’t muchchatter on the internet about the show, so we’re going to help you sort outwhether or not it’s worth investing your time. Ultimately, it’s up to you ifthe actionseries sounds interesting enough to warrant a binge, but here’s a rundown ofits gist.
What’s the plot of this martial arts fantasy?
Wu Assassins is set in present-day Chinatown in SanFrancisco and follows the story of Kai Jin, a talented chef turned reluctanthero imbued with mystical powers. As the “chosen one,” he is tapped to restore orderin this world and the spiritual plane, but first has to defeat enemies in thelocal gang and some ancient villains.
Kai eventually comes around to the idea that he’s a WuAssassin, but he is learning about the threats that come with the job alongwith audience. His friends are also indirectly connected to the saga and whilethey don’t always get along with each other, eventually have to work to fightcrime and the centuries-old threat.
What Kai learns is that he is part of a long legacy of Wu Assassins who are a part of him. As you watch, you’ll feel elements of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Iron Fist, and the secret world that existed in Grimm. With the power of the monks, Kai should be equipped to address anything that tips the scales of existence out of whack.
While the rest of San Francisco isn’t privy to the supernatural aspect of the Wu Assassin, it affects everyone—including law enforcement.
Martial arts stars are in the cast
Iko Uwais stars as Kai Jin, and his long resume includes acting,stunt work, and martial arts choreographer. Viewers will also recognize MarkDacascos, the charismatic host of Iron Chef and foe to John Wick in partthree of the movie series. Li Jun Li, who is known from Quantico and Blindspot,shines as Jenny Wah, a smart businesswoman trying to juggle work, familyobligations, and newfound power.
KatherynWinnick of Vikings plays an undercover cop. Lewis Tan, who playedthe villain Zhou Cheng in Iron First and Shatterstar in Deadpool2, is proud about how the show breaks Asian stereotypes. In an interview with Inverse,Tan spoke on what he thinks is different about the series and the dedication ofshowrunner John Wirth to getting things right:
“It’s about the underbelly of Chinatown with a fantasy twist, but behind all of it is a story about identity, family, purpose, destiny. It is important. We make important statements about the Asian-American experience. There’s scenes dedicated to just that. There’s a lot of social commentary that I haven’t yet seen onscreen
Everything we suggested, John Wirth would take. He trusted us. Everybody went into this understanding this is not their culture. We had Asian-American writers and directors, but the producers took our advice. Just because we’re not the same race doesn’t mean we can’t collaborate on art and do it properly.”
Touches on Chinese traditions and folklore
Unlike Iron Fist, this series spends more timedipping into the hidden, mystical world of Wu Assassins. Kai wasn’t thefirst to be called upon by the Wu and he won’t be the last.
Without diving too deeply into what happens in the show, thosewith knowledge of Chinese mythology, family traditions, and symbolism willappreciate how these facets are treated. At times, the plot gets confusing asyou figure out how these powers work, but headed into season two, it’s a giventhat the lore surrounding the Wu Assassin will be expanded.
The verdict: to watch or not to watch
If you’re fan of the action genre intertwined withsupernatural powers, then go for it. Since the inaugural season ends on acliffhanger, it leaves things open to delve more into the mythology and answersome of the questionable plot issues in this debut.
And if you want to see a somewhat adult, modernized versionof the animated Avatar: The Last Airbender, stream it.
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