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Review The Protector (1985): Quite enjoyable!

genre: action, crime





Director James Glickenhaus and Jackie Chan were at odds with each other since they both had very different takes how to make this film. Jackie Chan was do displeased that he had re-editted and even added new scenes to make his own version for the Hong Kong audience. And while I understand both sides I think I personally am very curious what would have been if Jackie Chan had embraced the darker and cruder Dirty Harry elements.

The Blu-ray copy of The Protector I have is purchased from DDDHouse.com. I was under the assumption that this was going to be the Hong Kong version. Unfortunately this is not the case. It's the original version as James Glickenhaus intended. Although that is yet another assumption. Since it does seem that he was going to make his own Dirty Harry. It doesn't really matter that much since I think his approach was the right one. The few shootout scenes are very reminiscent of what you normally would see in a heroic bloodshed title and looked very promising. Jackie Chan is not a fan of this type of action which is real puzzling to me since he has the skills and knowledge to actually bring heroic bloodshed to new heights. Imagine this. A younger Jackie Chan using guns instead of his fists. And then going on a rampage to kill and destroy everybody on his path of revenge! It would have been magnificent.

However maybe Jackie Chan would have indulged Glickenhaus had he given him freedom to choreograph and film the action the way he wanted. There are bits and pieces of old school Jackie Chan and it does beg the question why James Glickenhaus hadn't allowed him to let loose like that more often. I am not so sure if the American audience would not have been ready for that. Around that time martial arts films were huge. Fans from all over the world loved Jackie Chan and everything else action related. And they certainly would have made the film a real succes. This whole notion of Hollywood that a film has to appeal to a mainstream audience in order to earn a profit is ludicrous. There are many examples of  genre films only appealing to a certain kind of audience making a lot of money. Besides, Jackie Chan if given the freedom appeals to many. I mean even my late grandma loved him and his movies. 

Despite the differences The Protector is quite enjoyable for a film with very little plot and character development. Danny Aiello and Jackie Chan do have good chemistry between them and do give The Protector a buddy cop flavour. Moon Lee doesn't do that much but it was nice to see her. The nudity and implied sex scenes feel out of place in a Jackie Chan film but for me it makes it incredibly hilarious and entertaining.  

Overall The Protector still is a decent picture. Had Jackie Chan been given real freedom than for sure it would have been a far more memorable film. 




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