The Wuxia genre is fairly commonplace in Chinese cinema. The Assassin is a pretty standard martial arts film, but it offers some interesting filming techniques. Hou Hsiao-hsien uses minimal action and minimal dialogue, but his story tells an interesting tale nonetheless. He films through windows and entryways. He plants the camera and waits for the action to come into the scene. He directs his actors to act and interact when it feels natural and never puts them into a box. Shu Qi plays an assassin who is sent to kill her cousin/ex-fiancé, but finds herself conflicted by the act. She speaks only one line in the entire movie, but her emotions are never lost and she says more with that one line than most of the characters in the film.
Good film, not the best martial arts film, but still worth a look.
Not enough action, but the drama earns it…
3 out of 5
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