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The Protector
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Protector More at IMDbPro »

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

6 out of 10

Author: dragon ma young from town
7 August 2001

I DIDNT HATE IT! which really surprised me, because everyone on IMDb said this movie totally sucked and I went in expecting the worst. Sure Jackie is miscast, but other than the addition of curse words, his character isnt any darker than in Crime Story or Police Story 2. The action is slow, but better than any of the American action junk I've ever seen. Plus, there is tons of full-frontal nudity! Bet you didnt expect that from a Jackie Chan movie, did ya? I can understand why JC was disappointed with it, because it is nowhere near as good as almost any of his other 80's-90's movies, but it aint all that bad. Go in thinking you will hate it, and you just might like it.

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Gets A Bad Rap.

7/10
Author: magilvilla from Robinson, IL
15 November 1999

This movie is a lot better than people say it is. Sure, it's not a typical Jackie Chan movie, but it's good anyway. It has lots of action and is better than most of the buddy cop movies of the 1980's. Don't expect this to be like all of his other movies and you may like it. I did.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

misuse of Jackie Chan

Author: (yeemingj) from New York City, USA
8 July 2001

Jackie Chan's strength is in my opinion his talent in performing action comedy and fighting in creative settings. This movie puts Jackie Chan in an average cop-action movie that hardly takes advantage of Jackie Chan's strength. If someone else has played the role that Jackie Chan played in this movie, the movie could be a decent one. But Jackie Chan's presence in the movie gives expectation of something else than what this movie is. This is the problem of this movie: using Jackie Chan in an unsuitable role; or on the flip side, giving the role to someone unsuitable for this movie, Jackie Chan.

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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Ruined by dumb American executives

Author: Wizard-8 from Victoria, BC
23 January 1999

Jackie Chan had no control of this movie (at least the American version). The director somehow thought that Jackie would come across better to audiences as a Dirty Harry cop! Didn't he realize that Chan is popular because of his stunts and kung-fu action? Apparently not, because in an interview years later, the director said he didn't regret his decision and kept claiming that Americans wouldn't accept Chan's Asian style.

Back in Hong Kong, Chan re-shot the movie extensively, adding car chases and kung fu action. He also edited out a lot of the American director's idiotic stuff. That version is supposed to be quite good. This American version? It's AWFUL! You'd never guess what Chan is capable of by just watching this movie. The action scenes here are *dull*. Yes, *dull*.

By the way, Chan next did POLICE STORY, as a "take that!" to that American director (James Glickenhaus, who hasn't done much lately. Hmm...wonder why....). See that movie instead of this!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not as bad as its reputation would suggest.

6/10
Author: Scott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden) from Canada
4 August 2014

In the second attempt to introduce martial arts superstar Jackie Chan to the North American market (after "The Big Brawl" in 1980), ever likable Jackie is amusingly miscast as Billy Wong, an NYC cop who, after some hot dog heroics, is demoted to crowd control at a fashion show, where he's partnered with Danny Garoni (the engaging Danny Aiello). Unfortunately, they prove to be pretty useless and Laura Shapiro (Saun Ellis), daughter of a wealthy big shot, is kidnapped by goons working for dastardly Hong Kong mobster Mr. Ko (Roy Chiao). Billy and Danny manage to convince their commissioner to let them travel to HK to advise and assist local authorities in defeating Ko and rescuing Laura, but of course these two mavericks are pretty much just going to do whatever they want to do.

There are *some* fine moments here for Chan fans, but there simply may not be enough. The tone *is* rather gritty, but although there's not a lot of outright comedy, the movie does still have a sense of humour. Chan has some fine action and fight sequences, especially one around the halfway point where he's trying to pursue a henchman escaping by boat. The stunts near the end are impressively scary. Writer / director James Glickenhaus ("The Exterminator") does a very fine job in utilizing the various HK locations. Jackie does his best in the lead, with Aiello offering fine support and Chiao being just right as our glowering bad guy. Jackie does have a decent if not spectacular climactic fight with fellow martial artist Bill Wallace. All things considered, it's not hard to see why Chan himself and some of his fan base might not care for the movie, but there is an alternate cut now available on Blu-ray with additional scenes created by Jackie himself, to better suit his vision (he really had no control on this feature at the time).

In any event, it's worth noting the presence of a couple of familiar faces among the supporting cast, including Becky Ann Baker, John Spencer, Mike Starr, Big John Studd, and Trey Wilson.

It would take another 11 years before North America finally, really took notice of Jackie with the release of "Rumble in the Bronx".

Six out of 10.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Can do much better.

5/10
Author: lost-in-limbo from the Mad Hatter's tea party.
23 August 2008

After constantly reading and hearing nothing but negative opinions about the American produced, but also filmed in Hong Kong Jackie Chan vehicle 'The Protector'. It didn't sway me from checking it out. I'm no Jackie Chan fan, but honestly it was director James Glickenhaus' name which fed my interest. Best known for the 80s exploitative vigilante flick 'The Exterminator (1980)' and some entertaining action joints 'The Soldier (1982)' and 'Shakedown (1985). 'The Protector' does have the same vibe of his early efforts; gritty, brutal, rough and seamy. And I would call it lesser work. However the main talking point will always be how Glickenhaus used Jackie Chan. Yes, Chan is wasted in a role that would've been better suited for someone else (Norris comes to mind, as it has more in common with his stuff), as his martial arts abilities and amusing characteristics are never truly capitalized on. I'm so use to seeing him with that *wink, wink* attitude (Project A) and piling on those extravagantly energy-packed stunt work (Police Story). It's a different kettle, and very atypical. Here he looks uncomfortable throughout with that hardboiled edge. Just listen to his sober delivery of the dialogues. That endearing personality is kept in check. This performance seemed to ask more on dramatic acting, than his psychical and lively talent. He's pairing up with Danny Aiello (a loutish cop) couldn't be anymore disjointed and unbelievable. The chemistry never felt right, but with these problems I still was mesmerized. The rest of the performances (Bill Wallace, Roy Chiao) were indifferent. Look out for a short appearance by Mike Starr. While it didn't have the on-going rush I was expecting, Chan gets some furious and hard-hitting action sequences (like the opening slow-motion bloody shoot-out, tricky boat chase (one by water and the other by foot) and a marvellous sky-high balancing act). The film doesn't start off too badly, but when it hits Honk Kong. The copy and paste formula with its many predictable outcomes (involving the seedy crime underworld and the buddy style of two rogue cops) seems to plod along rather coldly. At least there's something enticing about the moody Hong Kong scenery, and ace cinematographer Mark Irwin's crisp moving camera-work is expansively fleshed-out. Effectively detailing the backdrop. Glickenhaus' direction is scratchy, but he knows how to set-up street style locations and infuse sleaze (especially the opportunities that arose to squeeze in nudity). It cops a lot shtick, but without the expectations it's a passable odd of sorts.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Wow!

Author: Nick_Vorobyov from Toronto
20 June 2001

This movie was so good. People wrote that this movie sucks and stuff but they are dead wrong this movie has lots of action and some classic stunts from the master hismself Jackie Chan. This movie is also kind of a drama but mostly action and some comedy. Also has a great fight scene at he end.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Chan may not like it, but I do

6/10
Author: Adam Peters from Birkenhead United Kingdom
30 August 2014

(57%) Back in the mid 80's Mr Chan didn't much care for this movie as he felt it was made not fully utilising his talent, for which I can understand. Featured here there's none of his trademark comedic fights, or insanely dangerous stunts, instead we get a gritter, more typically 1980's R-rated American action flick with plenty of shoot-outs, fist fights and explosions. The level of strong language, along with quite a lot of nudity also sets this apart from the usual Chan flick, but I cannot say I didn't enjoy this. The action is solid with plenty of it, and for a medium budgeted 80's action flick this is better than average.

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Criminally underrated Jackie Chan action - one of his best American movies

7/10
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
18 October 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This unfairly neglected '80s buddy-buddy cop flick sees Jackie Chan in his second American role, after the lesser BATTLE CREEK BRAWL. THE PROTECTOR is generally regarded as one of the star's worst movies, especially by the man himself, but I'm pleased to say that now I've seen it, I can say otherwise. This is an entertaining, violent, and action-packed movie, and it's easy to see why Chan himself doesn't care for it – the copious blood and nudity and bad language is a far way from his modern-day family-friendly action star persona. Indeed it certainly seems strange to hear Chan speak such lines so that's a novel experience in itself.

The plot itself is wafer thin, but makes some good use of American and Hong Kong on-the-street locations which get the gritty atmosphere across really well. It's business as usual as the two cops go head-to-head against a drug lord who's kidnapped his rival's daughter, and along the way, exploitation director James Glickenhaus throws in loads of pointless but well-shot action sequences and nude women who have no reason to be naked. Glickenhaus famously fell out with Chan and refused to let him shoot the martial arts sequences, but even so they're surprisingly good, with Chan at the physical pinnacle of his career, on the same kind of top form we saw in POLICE STORY. Many scenes are cheesy and hilariously over the top, like the bit where a robber is shotgunned out of a window, but it's that kind of movie and impossible to dislike. There seems to be some kind of Bond influence going on here, with some large-scale stunts and lots of chases, my favourite being the fight on a platform supported by a huge crane, and the cheesy death of the uber-villain has to be seen to be believed.

Danny Aiello does his best as Chan's partner, but he's completely overshadowed by the Chinese star, plus he's given a really obnoxious, selfish and rude character to work with, so definitely not a film to see him in a good light. Roy Chiao makes for an imposing villain but is underused, whilst Bill "Superfoot" Wallace is GREAT as the chief bad guy, who kicks Jackie's backside in the finale and ends up using an angle-grinder on our hero! Amazing spectacle here and certainly the highlight of the entire movie, well worth the wait. Ignore the negative connections surrounding this movie and I'd recommend giving it a chance – you might find yourself enjoying it more than you thought.

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Average cop/buddy movie with a mediocre storyline! 3/10

3/10
Author: leonblackwood from United Kingdom
26 November 2015

Review: This is yet another mediocre movie from Chan, who tries to crack the US with this English movie. Chan plays a New York cop called Billy Wong and after his partner is gunned down during a robbery, he's teamed up with Danny Garoni, (Danny Aiello) against his wishes. Whilst at a lavish function, a rich man's daughter gets kidnapped and when they piece together the clues, they find out that the father has connections with a drug kingpin in Hong Kong, so they head there to crack the case. It doesn't take long before the kingpin hears that they are in town, so he sends out his hit men to try and take them out. After various battles with the baddies, Billy & Danny come face to face with the kingpin and with the help of an ex-soldier, they use heavy artillery and Chans Kung Fu skills to get back the girl. To be honest, it seemed like many films that I have seen before in this genre. Chan didn't really use his Kung Fu skills that much but it was good to see him actually act, without any silly comedic scenes. There are a couple stunts that were OK but they were not in the same league as Chans movies that he made in his native country. With that aside, it's a watchable film with a decent storyline and I liked the chemistry between Aiello and Chan. It won't go down as a classic but it's one to add to the Chan collection. Average!

Round-Up: This movie was directed by James Glickenhaus who only directed 8 movies in his short career, which included Timemaster, McBain, the Exterminator, the Astrologer, the Soldier, Shakedown and Slaughter of the Innocents starring Scott Glenn. You can tell that Chan was restricted with the amount of death defying stunts that he was allowed to do because of the laws in American movies. That's why his career in the US didn't last that long, because he got fed up with being told what to do. You have to hand it to him for trying to make a movie in English and I honestly don't think that it was that bad but it does look really dated for this day and age, which is why I didn't give it a high score.

I recommend this movie to people who are into their action/crime/drama/martial arts movies starring Jackie Chan, Danny Aiello, Sandy Alexander and Victor Arnold. 3/10

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