Power Of 1000 Monks
Wu Assassins begins right in the heart of the drama with a decent, but flawed, opening episode, one that sees an adrenaline soaked fight in a hallway to kick us off. As a single man dispatches an entire army of guards, an incredulous victim slumped against the wall asks who he is. The man smiles back, “I’m a chef”
We then cut back to the day before with that very same fighter, Kai, working in a kitchen. An incident occurs in the main restaurant regarding the Triad, forcing Kai to return home. Unfortunately, this has a knock-on effect at the restaurant as the co-owner, Jenny, returns to find her brother beaten up and the place completely trashed. It turns out this was a message; the triad are coming for Kai and he’ll need to watch his back from now on. And come for him they do. Fighting in his food-truck, Kai fights off 2 men using an array of cutlery and equipment around him.
Thwarting the threat for now, a strange woman then appears, granting him the fabled power of 1000 monks. With more strength and speed than he could imagine, this power comes at a cost. Warlords are coming to San Francisco and as it happens, only Kai can stop them as he’s the chosen one.
With tensions brewing between China-man Chao Wui Luik and American businessman Alec McCullough, two executed men in a shipping container cause the police to be put on high alert. This happens be the catalyst for a growing power struggle in the future but for now, the wheels are set into motion for this to kick off in a major way going forward.
With the power bestowed upon him, Kai struggles to come to grips with his newfound responsibilities. The Triad leader, Wui Luik, offers Kai his own restaurant but he refuses, despite everything he claims to have done for him. As Kai returns home, he’s attacked by a number of men, which brings us back to the beginning of the episode nicely. As Kai dispatches the two remaining guards, we end with one final monologue of narration as the triad leader interviews the two men. He clearly has influential monk powers himself and as he fingers a fireball between his hands, he unleashes the ball of energy on the guards and they turn into molten rock.
Despite some strong action, Wu Assassins’ first episode isn’t shy when it comes to exposition. The middle portion of this episode feels bogged down with expository-heavy dialogue as we’re told, rather than shown, what these powers are and what Kai’s mission is. While the special effects are a little wonky at times and the music chosen doesn’t always fit with the tone of the episode, the narrative and well choreographed fights should be enough to see you through this one and leave you eager for more.