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Film / Legendary Assassin

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Legendary Assassin (Chinese: 狼牙之阿布 is a 2008 Hong Kong martial arts action thriller film directed by and starring Wu Jing, who made his directorial debut along with fight choreographer Nicky Li. The film also marks the screen debut of singer, songwriter and model Celina Jade (daughter of Snake in the Eagle's Shadow and Game of Death II film star Roy Horan). Wu stars as a mysterious martial artist, who become a female cop's prime suspect in a murder investigation.


Provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Holly does quite well, being probably the second best fighter on the police force, after Handsome Bao.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: In order to recover Chairman Ma's body, the gangsters mount an attack on the police station.
  • Asshole Victim: Chairman Ma is shown having sex with a woman, whom he then smacks when he's done. Then he drinks half a bottle of booze. Not the biggest loss for the world.
  • Awkward Ability: Bo saving Holly from the three men at the noodle bar. At first he tries not to intervene to avoid suspicion, but when Holly is being choked, he can't hold back any longer.
  • Battle in the Rain: The climactic battle takes place during the typhoon that had been threatening the entire movie.
  • Big Eater: Bo is introduced eating enough for at least three people, then orders five bowls of noodles when he reaches the island. It becomes a running gag.
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  • Blade on a Stick: In the opening assassination scene, Bo, after killing Ma and his bodyguards, relieves Ma of his head using a guandao.
  • Brick Joke: Early on, Bo says he's a bowling instructor. Towards the end, the police inspect his bag (expecting to find Ma's head) and find a bowling ball. Or rather, Ma's head hidden in one.
  • Cat Up a Tree: How Bo meets Holly.
  • Closed Circle: Due to a typhoon coming in, Bo is stuck on the tiny island.
  • Combat Pragmatist: This is always one of Wu Jing's staples, stacking joints, manipulating fingers, and generally doing that he has to do to win. Holly also has shades of this, in order to compensate for the fact she's roughly half the size of her enemies.
  • Covered with Scars: As revealed in his shower scene, Bo.
  • Damsel in Distress: Holly gets captured at the finale, and used to bring Bo back to the island.
  • Epic Battle Boredom: The lead smuggler simply finishes his noodles while Bo and Holly fight his underlings.
  • Extremity Extremist: An Elite Mook only used his (open) hands in a fight with Bo, enhanced by the heavy rings he wore.
  • Fair Cop: Holly. The tendency for female cops to be pretty in fiction is lampshaded.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: During the fight at the police precinct, Handsome Bao shows himself to be probably the best fighter on the police force. His last words were "Do I look okay?"
  • Hopeless Suitor: Tarzan to Holly.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Tarzan's Small Name, Big Ego attributes are implied to be because of an inferiority complex he has.
  • Meet Cute: Bruce catches Holly after she falls from a tree trying to get her cat.
  • Murderous Thighs: More like Murderous Ankles, Bo kills Ma by snapping his neck with his ankles.
  • Off with His Head!: Bo decapitates Chairman Ma in order to deliver his head to someone, presumably whoever hired him to kill him. Turns out, Bo is doing it for himself, and brings the head to the grave of a woman that Ma killed.
  • Properly Paranoid: Tarzan was actually correct about Bo being trouble, given the man is, well, a legendary assassin. Of course, his paranoia doesn't stem from any logical reason, he just really doesn't like Bo.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Handsome Bao dies protecting Tarzan.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Tarzan. No one is fooled by his act, either.
  • Surprisingly Good English: Holly demanding to see the smuggler's ID in English. Not terribly surprising, given that Holly's actress is clearly of mixed race, but still jarring nonetheless.
  • Taking the Bullet: In the finale, Bo jumps in front of Holly and takes a stab from Ma's wife.