The Protégé

The Protégé

In Theatres: 
Aug 20, 2021
Running Time: 
109 minutes

Assassin films are a dime a dozen, and it takes a lot for any single one of them to stand out among the masses. The Protégé definitely stands out, but for all the wrong reasons. The film is more Green Lantern than Casino Royale for director Martin Campbell, delivering an absurd story alongside minimal action that hardly lives up to even the smallest of expectations.


Moody Dutton (Samuel L. Jackson) is one of the best assassins in the business and spends his time finding the people who are impossible to find together with his adopted daughter Anna (Maggie Q), who he raised and trained after discovering her alone surrounded by dead bodies in Vietnam. His life of taking people out finally catches up to him and a devastated Anna makes her next contract personal as she is determined to find the ones responsible for his death. What she uncovers in the process, however, goes deeper than she could ever have imagined.


Honestly, there is little good that can be said about The Protégé. For starters, the story is all over the place. Moody’s death feels like a mystery up until the third act, but even then the reasoning behind things is spotty at best. Characters come in and out of the picture with little to no explanation. Bad guys get replaced by apparently even bigger bad guys, although the film does a poor job at even offering a simple explanation of who they are. Basically everyone is out to kill Anna, and that’s all you need to know.


Also disappointing is Maggie Q, unfortunately. We know she can play the deadly assassin role from her four seasons on Nikita in the titular role, but here she just seems to be phoning it in. She’s good at killing people but little else as she pretty much has the same expression throughout the entire film. Her face says exactly how I feel about the film; indifferent. She isn’t the only one, either. Michael Keaton is no different. He’s another bad guy who is out to kill Anna but also sleep with her too. The forced romance between the two is awkward at best. It simply doesn’t work. Samuel L. Jackson is fine in the film, but only because he’s not really in it long enough to form much of a lasting impression.


The Protégé is comically bad. It starts off on a relatively normal path but then quickly falls off the rails and never recovers. The story is ridiculous, with random jumps in logic that are all too convenient, and the action is dull and uninspired. There are a few attempts at humor, mostly from Michael Keaton, but they fall flat just like the rest of the film. I would advise you to avoid this one at all costs.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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