MOVIE REVIEW – When the Creative Europe Media logo appears on the screen, you might suspect that the producers have volunteered too much with the Protégé. We were recently ‘photo-shooted’ by the protein bomb of Gunpowder Milkshake, but we never thought, that they could crush the remaining ingredients with this #Let’sRoll or #ItWillShakeThePartyAnyway attitude.
This time we can forget about high-quality shooting & compositions, there is almost no visual art. (the recently seen Scandinavian movie: Druk was much more artificial with the camera movements). Its clear for me they didn’t tell the crew to shoot some really close pictures to have some ‘facetime’. The supporting actor who also plays Nick Fury in Marvel universe (Samuel L. Jackson) has sunk to Morpheus-ian levels, and he is still a grayscale side character only. I’m not sure I would build a campaign on seeing both eyes of Him. To watch his stereo-eyes, it’s completely enough to check one of his old classic movies or just watch Captain Marvel.
‘She wanna scream and shot, and let it out.’
Around the 15th minute of the story, we are somewhat relieved, as the main character of the movie: Founder (Michael Keaton) has been shown up in a seemingly sneaky role, similarly as he bought the entire McDonald’s brand. He was -I might add- a very good choice. Of course, it is another question that his story and emotions are no more complex than any random Marvel super-character. His character depth is even weaker than Captain Marvel’s.
Black widow or Russian roulette?
I’d like to point out that the actors onboard are basically from the top level. The problem is that they either have to play a tired personality, or they can’t fill it with more dimensions & aspects (because it was not composed in). So I would get bored while acting these stories too. The scenes simply don’t want to move out anyone from his/her comfort zone – or from the original personality profile. Anna (Maggie Q) operates too much with her cold poker face, so it’s hard to read emotions on it. This limited mimicry is not rare for Asian people, or even for actors from the East. Also, in Gunpowder Milkshake I didn’t like the bored, cold main character, but now I realised that a hitwoman movie can’t be dramatic because a woman with human feelings won’t kill people in ‘series’.
Lukas movie ‘Luke alike’
The protagonist’s family and relatives are brutally executed, while the adult woman Anna and her black panther Moody (Samuel L. Jackson) try to take revenge on the henchmen and leader of the entire mafia network. Surviving everything, resurrecting characters, camera tricks make us believe that the audience is not taken too seriously there. Okay, let’s add that there are some creative solutions on a fight level, and there’s a special dynamic between Anna Rembrandt (Michael Keaton): for them it’s hard to choose between making war or making love.
Obligatory romantic scenes have been involved in scenarios since James Bond, but Mr. and Ms. Smith produced an even much better fight with Amor’s arrow. Of course, the protagonists have all the possibility to become good lovers of each other. Remember: a dedicated spy fell in love in the classic movie: the Mask as well. That is another matter if this will happen or not with the protégé.
No woman, no knife
On the way home, we accepted the challenge and tried to count up the funny and impressionistic scenes of this motion picture (and not ‘emotion’ picture). Each of these resulted in a solid fair score of 4-4. The story is so schematic that I regret to amortize my keyboard for it. There was a good scene however when they pull a gun under the table (no, it wasn’t a restaurant love time). I found that funny and cinematically well-delivered story part. Let’s remark, that at the beginning of the movie I found it hard to tell that the traumatized protagonist child was a girl or not. After a few minutes, it was unclear which team’s point of view was being shown. Should I felt empathy for the bad guys? Maybe it was just a twist of the story aspects, let’s have the presumption of innocence (#protégé). After all, I got a promotional ticket, although no one expects me to hype the film, but to bring the ‘collective facts’… My press partner was almost sick with aggression, even though it was only pegi 16, not 18 with some gunpowder on the top of it.
Martin Campbell‘s movie, with its 16: was more callous, cruel. Thus Maggie Q didn’t steal the show with her emotions, she deserves credit for her good physique and brilliant movements. Quite well-developed backflashes show exactly which brutalities happened to the people around in old times. We also see glimpses, montages about what probably happened, and how it was supposed to have happened.
Was she the big in Japan?
Unfortunately the quality of the Protégé turned to C category: uninspired acting, poor story-telling, not very brilliant cinematography (ok: 3 transitional landscapes they included were nice). What can drag the film on its back is the extreme depiction of physical atrocities, but in comparison, the Killing Eve series -which also goes for this physical impact- has an exciting storyline, is humorous and perfectly acted by the actors. Much of this merit can also be pinned on Gunpowder Milkshake. This story can be described in one sentence. The film marches weightlessly towards a feather-light climax. It’s clear that Nikita’s skirmishes inspired this title, giving us a sense of an unwanted sequel.
If you can’t stand the amount of blood like Red Sparrow, good news, because this is anemic on all fronts. However, if the sight of a severed head shocks you, you will want to mix up some gunpowder for the evening instead. Trust me, you’ll be better to do so. My critique partner even spotted the stolen soundtrack. It would have been nice gesture to mix shot sounds under music, but this never happened. Also no slow-mo shots were damaged because there were none of them. I regret not to hear any acapella shots – with artificial sound engineering or any other special ways.
This work is an exclusive example of what will happen to movies if you forget each consideration with force you have learned in media school. Guns will not ‘trigger’ the memory in this case.