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  • Writer's pictureEllis Barthorpe

The Protégé ★★

Martin Campbell

Starring Maggie Q, Michael Keaton, Samuel L Jackson, Robert Patrick, Gamba Cole

As we cross over in to a new year in film, the stragglers that released towards the end of 2021 are still being discussed; but in the busy days that come at the end of December, some streaming releases tend to be missed. Amazon Prime's new action-thriller The Protégé is one of those movies, but this is even more a surprise as it stars two Hollywood legends: Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Keaton.

It's neither star though that steals the show here, as Maggie Q bleeds passion and fresh energy throughout. She is the real saving grace of this film and unfortunately the bigger names in the Prime original seem out of place in a film that has spent most of it's budget on it's names.

The plot and character motivation seems ill-explained, and at first I thought there was more to it that I was missing, eventually realising that the script was just unnecessarily complex.

This is a story of treachery and backstabbers that seems all too familiar, just with a different selection of faces involved. The film is quick-paced and doesn't overstay its welcome (which is always a positive with these dingy, revenge-fuelled action-thrillers), but it does lack space to breathe, subsequently creating very few character moments.

The Protégé could have been 45 minutes shorter and been the same necessary details. It's not as fleshed out as it thinks it is and it has flashback elements that I'd be much more interested in seeing as its own film. It nearly slipped through the radar and I'd feel no different if it had.

The Protégé available now on Amazon Prime

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