|The Protector (1985)|
|Starring:||Jackie Chan, Danny Aiello, and Moon Lee|
I am confident that the first fifteen minutes of The Protector will blow the mind of any uninitiated audience member. The movie opens in a dark alley that is only lit by garbage cans that are ablaze with trash, a scene that seems like something taken out of an Italian postapocalyptic film. We skip forward and during these first fifteen minutes we are introduced to uzis, excessive bloodshed, Jackie Chan using the “F word,” and some extremely American action-film generalities. This is hardly anything that audiences expect to see from even the most bizarre Jackie Chan films. No, instead, this is a very hard boiled crime thriller with lovable Jackie Chan stuck in the lead. Once the film relocates to Hong Kong, the movie starts to lightly become more of a Jackie Chan venture, but it is obvious that he is being restrained at every step along the way. The action scenes are sluggish, Jackie doesn’t fully extend with his kicks, he shows no form, and he is ultimately made to look more like a brawler than a martial artist. Unfortunately, as the movie makes this transition, it also stops feeling like the gritty urban thriller that it once was, but instead becomes a more mediocre adventure tale.