Legendary Assassin is the directorial debut of both Wu Jing and Nicky Li. Nicky Li is a former fight choreography and stunt member of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team, who has had collaborated with Wu Jing in several projects like Fatal Contact and Invisible Target. And as debuts go this one is very solid to good.
What I like about this film the most that it moves along in a nice pace where not a minute is wasted with redundant sub plots or other distractions. Every event or character interaction is functional. Through the non action scenes we get to know the main character and kind of what makes him tick. I say kind of since not much background is given on Bo Tong Lam (Wu Jing). But he is not your typical good guy as he is capable of cold blooded murder if the title didn't gave away this already. After assassinating a big crime boss (who was hiding out on a small island) he is forced to stay on the island since there are no ferries coming in because of a typhoon alert. It is this moment where he makes a connection with Hiu Wor (Celina Jade who you might recognize from Arrow where she played Shado). He gets to spend some nice moments with her and her colleagues and this was very pleasant to see because they make you care about the characters despite them just having met.
And since you care it does intensify the action. It's such a simple device to do this and yet many similar films fail to do this. So I am glad that Wu Jing understood this. Now he does make some mistakes by making the film a little too serious and dramatic but I guess that you can't escape from tragedy in Asian films. But first and foremost it's done in service of the action and that is a good thing. It makes you involved and will make the action have more impact. The action on it's own is what you can expect from Wu Jing or Jacky Wu and is hard hitting and stylish. Sometimes wireworks are used but very sparingly.
Overall this film delivers on the action and makes me want Wu Jing to do more projects. Wolf Warrior was excellent, let's hope the sequel to that will be too.