Movie Review Writer on Letterboxd and now here on Hubpages. I love movies, TV shows and anime. I also do photography as a hobby.
Fun action flick or a future movie franchise?
Anna was taken from Vietnam as a young orphan by Moody, an assassin who is as skilled as he is eccentric. She is raised and educated by him, in order to eventually kill people at top level at top rates as an adult woman. As the twenty-first century resurrection of Léon, he the older mentor, she his protégé, they string the murders together. In addition, his experience and the creative approach perfectly complement her agility, skill and cool-headedness. Until these professional problem-solvers struggle for more than just money, even though they aren't really interested in the personal feuds that are inextricably linked to their field of work.
It should be clear: no creative muscle has been stretched at the writer's table for this quite clichéd premise. We have all heard the other aspects of the story before. The big bad guy is a wealthy benefactor, his dirty handyman a charming fighter with a nickname that is a bit too tough. The billionaire has appointed this machine-gun intellectual as guardian of a secret that is just not interesting enough for the course of the film to work out properly, but is pulled across the screen in largely inexplicable shreds as a justification for what it really is in this genre. It's all about: deliciously absurd fight scenes to die for.
Also in The Protégé are these actions where people keep their eyes on the road while a shot of hail shatters their rear window or where a group of gangsters empty bottomless warehouses on a ceiling where the protagonist crawls around. To miss them all as a matter of course, so that the pointless sequence of complicated fighting continues one location further. Unfortunately, this lacks the spectacle that could have made the film interesting or sensational. It is unusual, sometimes almost creative, but rarely overwhelming or virtuoso.
Of course there are plenty of examples of this kind of John Wick-like action films, in which the story is no more than a necessary evil to give the most complicated slaughter choreographies a stage and to be able to work out the least subtle murders. Yet The Protégé is unfortunately found to be lacking in all aspects, even when the characteristics of this genre are taken into account.
The story is so substandard and unimportant and the characters so shallow that the action has to be of an impossibly high level to make it a film that is worth watching. Even the efforts of renowned actors such as Michael Keaton, Meggie Q and Samuel L. Jackson cannot turn this explosion of violence into a film that lasts longer than the credits.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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