Wu Assassins

TV review by
Marty Brown, Common Sense Media
Wu Assassins TV Poster Image
Super violent martial arts-based action drama falls flat.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series is generally framed as a battle of good versus evil, and the central question is how far the protagonist will go to defeat evil.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Wu Assassins focuses on various criminals in Chinatown in San Francisco, most of whom are connected with the Chinese Triad organization. The show features a large cast of mostly Chinese actors (the lead, Iko Uwais, is Indonesian).

Violence

The show is about violence, and features extended fight scenes in each episode. Martial arts is the most common expression of violence, but guns and knives make frequent appearances. There are also a lot of people who get burned alive.

Sex
Language

Profanity includes the f-word, "s--t," "damn," etc.

Consumerism

Slightly more product placement than typical Netflix shows; products are shown but not mentioned.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink frequently, and alcohol is often portrayed as tough and edgy. There's also occasional smoking, and one main character is an opiate addict.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wu Assassins is a martial arts-based action show about criminals operating in San Francisco's Chinatown. Each episode features extended fight scenes, some of which involve knives and gunplay, and there are numerous scenes of people getting burned alive. Most of the action is stylized and not realistic, and the show uses dated special effects on purpose, which further add to the pulpy feeling, but there's a lot of violence nonetheless. There's no sexual content, but profanity includes "s--t" and "f--k." There's also frequent drinking, and some heavy drug use.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBlk215 September 18, 2019

Has potential but horrible writing

The writers for the show are all over the place the main character isn't really likable if a most of the show I was left thinking what the heck is going on... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Kai Jin (Iko Uwais) is a talented chef who is given the power of the Wu Assassins, an ancient line of fighters with supernatural strength and agility whose mission is to kill the five Wu Warlords, dangerous beings with similarly supernatural powers. For Kai Jin, that means immersing himself in the criminal underground in Chinatown, where his adoptive father Uncle Six (Byron Mann) runs the local gang of Chinese Triads.

Is it any good?

Netflix has already had some success with the immaculate action scenes of their 2018 film The Night Comes for Us, so extending the model to an episodic series is the next logical step -- However, it doesn't sustain the level of quality. Netflix dipping its toes into the world of martial arts programming does make perfect sense: It's flashy, inexpensive to make, and infinitely watchable. However, Wu Assassins' fight sequences mostly feel rote, and neither the writing nor the acting does anything to help the action out. As always, the key to great action is having characters to invest in, and neither Uwais or any of the rest of the large supporting ensemble are compelling enough to elevate the fights to anything more than a clamor. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Chinatown. How does Wu Assassins' portrayal of San Francisco's Chinatown compare to other portrayals of Chinese Americans? Do you think the depiction is accurate or exaggerated?

  • Why do you think people enjoy action shows and movies? What kinds of skills do actors need to perform in martial arts movies?

  • What are the differences between actual family and criminal family on Wu Assassins? How do the two overlap and affect one another? Does the show make it seem like one is better than the other?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love martial arts

Themes & Topics

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