the protected is remarkably well made; Maggie Q and Samuel L. Jackson are absolutely amazing in Martin Campbell’s action thriller.
We’re in a time when only a handful of filmmakers stay true to the action genre, doing the trick with compelling fight scenes while keeping fans in the story with memorable characters. In these and other ways the protected succeeds, thanks to the director’s unique vision and attention to detail.
Action star Maggie Q is Anna, a woman who was taken as a child from her blood-soaked past in Vietnam by the legendary assassin Moody Dutton (Samuel L. Jackson) and molded into an ass kicking killer.
When she’s not blowing someone’s brains out, Anna runs a bookshop in London. Her relationship with her mentor and boyfriend Moody is what keeps her sane in a world she doesn’t seem to fit into.
Normality for the heroine ends when Moody is brutally murdered and an attempt is made on Anna’s life. She survives and hands out her form of payment to the men who tried to kill her, and sets out on a quest for revenge to find out who gave the order to end Moody’s life.
Samuel L. Jackson and Maggie Q in the protected
Anna’s search leads her back to Vietnam, where an old job Moody did seems to be the connection to his murder. While there, she reconnects with a mysterious person named Michael (Michael Keaton) whose ties to a powerful syndicate pit them against each other.
As she gets closer to the truth, Anna must fight like never before to stay alive and stay one step ahead of Michael and his associates.
I started watching the trailer for the protected but stopped before it was halfway through because I misjudged the movie as another mindless action movie, wasting the potential of Jackson and Maggie Q. Fifteen minutes into the story and any doubts I had were blown to smithereens.
As the protagonist, Maggie Q brings her A-game to this film, portraying a heroine who lacks the luxury of morals. Her bond with Moody is what brings out her humanity and her work in the bookstore keeps her grounded in reality.
Samuel L. Jackson is a joy to watch every day, and here the impression of his character is felt long after his murder. Like his opponent, he brings humanity to a character whose hands are soaked with blood.
Another actor whose impressive work should be noted is Michael Keaton. His chemistry with Maggie Q is apparent and when the two characters relate, the viewer is left to guess whether they’re going to kill or kiss each other.
Director Martin Campbell is good at making memorable action movies and showing total mastery of the genre. The cinematography, fight scenes and visuals work together to create a visually appealing whole that will please fans of action.
the protected is an absolute blast from start to finish. Entertaining and enjoyable, it’s proof that not all action movies have to be mindless and pointless.