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With Such Talent On And Off Screen, The Protégé Shouldn’t Be Bland

By Kory Glover

Summer is a special time for the average moviegoer. Just before award season and right after those awkward “dump months” when studios dump out films they have zero faith in, summer is a time for one thing, fun!

It’s a time for the Avengers to soar through the theatres, explosions aplenty from a jungle movie starring The Rock and downright incredible fight choreography that makes Bruce Lee blush. Summer blockbusters are a true gem to the film industry… so it’s a damn shame that we end Summer 2021 with this dull, uninspired romp.

You’d think with a cast like Maggie Q, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Keaton directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale and The Mask of Zorro), they would stumble upon a sweet action flick by accident. Unfortunately, The Protégéproves that even this cast can’t cover up this borefest.

The film follows Anna Dutton (Maggie Q), raised from childhood by Moody Dutton (Samuel L. Jackson) to be a world-class assassin. However, when someone makes it personal, she vows to take her revenge, no matter who gets in her way. Along the way, she meets Michael Rembrandt (Michael Keaton), a mysterious man with a flirty nature who may or may not be more than he appears.

Again, that premise has a lot of promise for a fun action movie. Unfortunately, nothing really interesting happens. While some of the action is pretty fun and engaging, there really isn’t much during the nearly two-hour runtime. You know what there is a lot of? Talking… so much talking.

This is a shame because Maggie Q has proven herself to be a force to reckoned with, from her action series Nakita to films like Live Free or Die Hard and Balls of Fury. Unfortunately, she’s never been a staple in the genre like other big names, and movies like this really don’t showcase her talent.

Even Samuel L. Jackson as the assassin who raised her, has very little to do in the film. The only one in the cast who manages to go above and beyond is Michael Keaton.

While his character isn’t really anything that interesting, Keaton’s charisma was more than enough to keep an audience engaged throughout his scenes. Also, for a man who recently turned 70 years of age, he can really hold down a fun fight scene.

There’s a scene where he’s ambushed by a gang of baddies and, while there are obviously no flips or anything too showy, it was still impressive for Keaton to keep up with people half his age. In all honesty, it was probably my favourite part of the whole picture.

Unfortunately, that’s really all the positivity I can muster for this film, and that’s a real shame. This should’ve been, at the very least, a movie so dumb that it’s fun. But, I’m afraid that The Protégé is doomed to obscurity.

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