The Protege Review

Synopsis: Anna (Maggie Q) is the world’s most accomplished contract killer, trained by famous assassin Moody (Samuel L. Jackson). Anna vows vengeance on Moody, her father figure who taught her everything she knows about trust and survival.

Their battle turns deadly as she becomes embroiled with an intriguing killer (Michael Keaton) whose desire to her goes beyond cat and mouse.

The Good

The Protege’s casting is so impressive that it immediately grabs your attention. In this cast, Maggie Q shines as Anna, the assassin. Despite Anna’s stoicism, she does reveal traces of vulnerability every now and again. As a mentor and “guy in the chair,” Samuel L. Jackson is an excellent choice. Michael Keaton completes the cast as Rembrandt in The Protege, a role he excels at. Rather than being a scene stealer, Keaton almost takes over the entire film. His performance on camera elevates a situation, and I’d like to see more of him off camera.

Anna’s origins are revealed to be more complicated than first appears in the story. The parts of the story that aren’t that complicated strike me as the most interesting as an interesting vengeance story. Even the discourse between Anna and Rembrandt is of high quality. There are a few situations in which these two simply trade snappy one-liners in a playful yet frightening manner. This aspect of the writing is one of my favorites since it enriches the lives of the characters.

The Protege Review

The Bad

For whatever reason, The Protege seems to be lengthier than it ought to be. In the second act, you’ll notice that the tempo is a little off, making it a little more difficult to follow. The second act spends far too much time establishing the villains, and as a result, I was less emotionally invested in Anna than I was in Rembrandt. The second act of The Protege also includes flashbacks to Anna’s early life and her meeting with Sam Jackson’s Moody. To learn about Anna’s background is not necessary, but the Protege doesn’t make it plain when we are witnessing a flashback scene. To be honest, the movie’s flashback sequences don’t make any sense.

I’m a big fan of the action sequences in this film. Between here and retribution, I think there are some fantastic battle moments between Anna and the thugs. A number of battle scenes appear to be overly choreographed and don’t mesh with the film’s overall tone. John Wick-esque fight scenes appear in the Protege’s universe, but they don’t blend in with the more realistic setting.

The Protege Review

Overall

I loved the Protege, and I’m sure you will too. Maggie serves as a solid anchor, while Sam serves as a steadying influence, and Michael Keaton simply captivates. However, I’d like to see more in the Protege, as it stumbles a bit as it develops itself.

Read more: ROOMMATES (2022) SHORT FILM REVIEW