Director: Martin Campbell
Cast: Michael Keaton, Maggie Q, Samuel L. Jackson
Release Date: October 19, 2021
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Rescued as a child and raised by legendary assassin Moody (Jackson), Anna (Maggie Q) was trained to become the world’s most skilled contract killer. When Anna learns that Moody has been brutally killed, she vows revenge. On the murderer’s trail, Anna is entangled with an enigmatic hit man (Keaton) and, as their confrontation turns deadly, the loose ends of a life spent killing weave themselves ever tighter in this adrenaline-fueled action-thriller from the director of Casino Royale.
Please Note: Lionsgate Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘The Protégé’ tells the story of Anna (Q) who was rescued as a young girl by an infamous assassin named Moody (Jackson) and trained in the arts of his craft only to become his equal in the world of professional killing. But when her mentor is attacked and brutally murdered, Anna sets out on a violent quest for revenge as she carves her way through the underworld hunting for answers and blood. Along the way she becomes somewhat entangled with a talented and charming hit man named Rembrandt (Keaton) who she can’t help but share a spark with; a true problem considering he also appears to be deeply involved with those who attacked Moody.
Directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, Edge of Darkness) from a screenplay written by Richard Wenk (The Equalizer 2014), Campbell does a great job at the helm of ‘The Protégé’ guiding along the action-packed fun with ease. The film also benefits from a capable cast that includes Michael Keaton (American Assassin), Maggie Q (Death of Me), Samuel L. Jackson (The Hitman’s Bodyguard) and more, with nearly all offering pretty decent performances in each of their respective roles for the most part.
‘The Protégé’ is a tense, violent and fast-paced ride through the underworld of killers and criminals, guided by a young assassin seeking answers and vengeance for the loss of her mentor who ends up finding herself in one troubling set of events after another. It may not be overly original and the general concept and outline is much like a handful of other films you’ve surely seen, but ‘The Protégé’ earns significant points for never attempting to be something revolutionary or groundbreaking and instead focusing on delivering a bloody, action-packed tale of one woman’s relentless quest for vengeance. Somewhat blending together elements from eighties and nineties action vehicles with classic spy thrillers, the film serves up a refreshingly familiar action flick with nothing extraordinary within to distract from the brutal fight sequences and explosive fun that’s delivered in ample quantities throughout. Guided along nicely by director Martin Campbell who is certainly no stranger to helming a solid action film and his work behind the camera is only further complimented by enjoyable performances from the notable cast led by Maggie Q and Michael Keaton. I would definitely encourage any fans of the director, the main cast, plus anyone that enjoys simple, fun and violent action flicks with style to try and find the time to check out ‘The Protégé’ at some point in the foreseeable future because there’s a pretty great chance you’ll be thrilled you did.
Overall, ‘The Protégé’ is a bloody, thoroughly entertaining and refreshingly simple action flick loaded with violent fun and excitement around every turn. Never attempting to be something it’s not and focusing on nothing more than providing a thrilling and quite bloody ride throughout, it ends up doing its job rather well. ‘The Protégé’ is definitely recommended, especially for anyone that enjoys simple, violent and fast paced action flicks the likes of which we don’t seem to see enough these days. Any dedicated fans of director Martin Campbell and/or of lead stars Maggie Q and Michael Keaton probably won’t want to miss out on this one either. It may not be anything overly unique or remarkable, but that’s actually one of its biggest charms and if you’re seeking an entertaining action film to enjoy one relaxing evening at home when you don’t want to be required to think too much, this one should make a great selection.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Protégé’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding as a whole and serves up a clean, sharp and beautifully detailed presentation from start to finish with no issues or problems to be uncovered along the way. It holds up flawlessly even during the various fast moving action sequences and darkly lit moments throughout, never allowing anything to become problematic, let alone rendered indiscernible at any point. Overall, this is a magnificent high definition video presentation from Lionsgate that looks wonderful from start to finish and should easily thrill first time viewers and fans.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack is an absolute treat as well and provides a crisp, clean and hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send everything from music and crowd chatter to explosions, gunshots and debris whipping throughout the various speakers quite regularly and never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible along the way. Overall, this is a phenomenal Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that delivers splendidly every step of the way.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Protégé’ includes some solid extras that fans of the film should appreciate. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary by Director Martin Campbell’, along with one ‘Deleted Scene’ from the film (running approximately 2 minutes in length). We are also treated to ‘Scars of the Past: Making The Protégé’ (running approximately 37 minutes in length) which explores bringing the film to life and includes interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. An additional Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘Anna vs. Rembrandt’ (approximately 8 minutes) is also included, as is the film’s ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (approximately 2 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘The Protégé’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Millennium Media & Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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