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Directed by: James Glickenhaus
Starring: Jackie Chan, Danny Aiello, Roy Chiao, Saun Ellis, Mike Starr, Kim Bass, Big John Studd, Moon Lee, and Bill "Superfoot" Wallace
Billy Wong (Chan) is a tenacious and dedicated cop who always gets his man - but doesn’t always play by the rules. Because of his rogue ways, he’s busted down to “crowd control”. While with his new partner Garoni (Aiello) at said crowd, a fashion show displaying “shimmering cocktail wear”, a woman named Laura Shapiro (Ellis) is kidnapped by marauding thugs which crash the fashion show. Tying her kidnapping to the nefarious Hong Kong crime lord Harold Ko (Chiao), Wong and Garoni travel all the way from their home base in New York City to Hong Kong to rescue Laura and bring down the criminal enterprise of Ko. While there, they team up with some unlikely allies, Stan Jones (Ballistic director Kim Bass) and Soo Ling (Lee). Will they achieve their mission, and not destroy Hong Kong in the process? Find out today!
We really loved The Protector. It’s classic 80’s fun all the way, with no shortage of action. Not only does the movie look great, thanks to its excellent cinematography, but it truly is Jackie Chan as you’ve never seen him before. We can see why he and director Glickenhaus had a falling out over differing visions, but, without giving away any spoilers, you just have to check out the scene between Jackie and none other than Big John Studd. It’s amazing. In the New York City scenes, there are some great shots of the World Trade Center towers that add another layer of nostalgia. But besides the WTC, there’s also a great example of a WYC (a White Yelling Chief, that is). The entertainment value never lets up.
This movie was released at the height of Glickenhaus’ powers as a director - we can see why Golden Harvest wanted to do a deal with him. He was smart enough to give action fans all of what they want, and none of what they don’t. There’s no stupid, annoying kid, there’s no stupid, annoying romance, it’s just one super-cool action setpiece after another, with Jackie doing what he does best. What more could you want?
Plus, we get to see a slimmer Danny Aiello teamed with Jackie Chan. This truly was a once-in-a-lifetime pair-up. We thought they made a great team. Aiello wears a red jacket with no shirt, but with a medallion, which was a cool style for the day, and he’s familiar with Hong Kong in the film because he was in Vietnam and they used to go there for R & R.
The Protector is a winner - it’s just wildly enjoyable fun from beginning to end. Featuring the song “One Up For the Good Guys” by Chip Taylor, we strongly recommend The Protector.
NOTE: We really didn’t discuss the two versions here - but it appears the American DVD is the ideal way to view this film.
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett