Those coming to The Assassin, the new wuxia from Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien (winner of the Best Director prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival), expecting an all-out action martial arts fest are in for a bit of a rude surprise. There certainly is action, and it carries considerable weight in the story. But rather than glorify the violence, the weight serves to magnify its importance and emphasize its effect upon those involved.
It is somewhat amazing to think that in 2015, a fourth Transporter film (The Transporter Refueled) was released in theatres. Whether that is a testament to the franchise’s longevity or the studios desperation that make whatever money they can out of a series of films that admittedly has its fanbase but is mostly just a drop in the ocean compared to the Marvel Cinematic Universes and James Bonds of the movie world is another debate altogether.