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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 4, 2021



MAGGIE Q is a female action star best known on TV for shows like “Nikita” and “Designated Survivor”. In films, she had big roles in the “Divergent” series, “Mission Impossible 3” and “Die Hard 4”.  

She now plays the title role in Amazon Prime’s “The Protege”, directed by action director Martin Campbell, known for hit 007 flicks like “Golden Eye” and “Casino Royale”. 

The movie opens with Moody (Samuel L. Jackson) entering a building where a massacre happened. Inside a closet, he finds a little girl with a gun aimed at him. 

This is Anna, who he adopts as his protege as an assassin. In the next scene, she has grown up to be Maggie Q and is seen infiltrating the lair of a Romanian crime lord all by herself and killing him and his men as part of a high profile job she does for Moody.

As cover up, Anna owns a book shop selling rare books and this is where she first meets Rembrandt (Michael Keaton), who is ostensibly buying a gift but is actually another hired killer. 

When Moody is killed violently in his own home, Anna is bent on seeking vengeance for he is like a father who raised and trained her.

In her investigation, she deduces that their last job is involved in the killing of Moody. 

This involves Edward Hayes and, in finding out who the killer is, she is forced to return to Vietnam, her homeland which she has long been avoiding to do, afraid of ghosts that might show up.

From here, the narrative takes some unexplainable twists and turns. The characters are not fully fleshed out and the fairly convoluted plot involving a conspiracy has many questions that remain unanswered, some of them downright silly. 

It is now very common for movies to have twists where a character you thought had died turned out to be alive. 

But in this movie, that kind of surprise does not involve just one character but two dead characters who later both turn out to be still alive and kicking. 

One positive thing about the movie is that it has a racially diverse cast with white, black and Asian actors working together. 

Also, the locales are beautiful and the action set pieces are stylishly  staged, but as a whole, we don’t think this is the director’s finest hour.

Both Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Keaton are aging screen icons but they’re both very competent. Maggie Q is always impressive in anything she does. 

She might be 42 years old now but she looks so much younger than her age and is definitely so stunningly sexy as the femme fatale protagonist on screen. 

She’s surely outstanding in her kick ass action scenes but this movie is not the kind that will start a franchise for her as a female John Wick. 

She most certainly deserves a better material and a more slambang action vehicle like “Kate”, considering her ample gifts in the action department that give her a violent edge without betraying her character’s emotional core.