The Protector

The Protector


Directed by James Glickenhaus

Starring Jackie Chan, Danny Aiello, Victor Arnold, Roy Chiao, Bill “Superfoot” Wallace

American Version:
Rating: ******

Hong Kong Version:
Rating: ******

Several times in Jackie’s career,
He went to the United States
And tried to become a screen presence there,
So Americans would know his face.

He made four movies in the US,
Two of which failed hard,
And two in which he had so minor a role
That to notice him you’d have to look hard,

Jackie tries to pee.

Before his breakout in ’98,
In a film simply titled Rush Hour.
I took him four tries before he made it,
And became the man of the hour.

His two cameo roles in the Cannonball films
Were but a flash in the pan
For the hard work and talent outpouring
From the greatness that is Jackie Chan.

He starred in two American films
In 1980 and 1985.
The first one, though good, wasn’t a hit
And in the second one, his career died—

At least, his career in the US.
In Hong Kong he was still king,
And would continue to amaze all of Asia
With the adrenaline to the screen that he’d bring.

It is this second film I’ll be reviewing today,
A movie called The Protector,
Jackie starred with Danny Aiello,
And James Glickenhaus was the director.

Jackie Chan plays a New York cop
Whose partner gets gunned down
By Big John Studd and his gang of crooks,
Who were robbing a bar in the town.

Jackie gets mad and murders them all.
Something you’ll miss when it’s airing,
Are some of the words that Jackie Chan says.
In this movie, you will hear him swearing.

A peeping Tom.

He gets a new partner and they go to Hong Kong.
You will notice I’m skimming the plot,
It doesn’t all make sense. It’s an action film.
Lethal Weapon this is not.

I had better point out that two versions exist,
One for America and one for Hong Kong.
And the very straightforward reason for this
Is so Jackie could fix the film’s wrongs.

When I first watched this movie a long time ago,
Frankly, I was bored right to tears.
Every sequence drags on for long after it should,
And to get through it seems to take years.

I recently saw a better edit,
One Jackie Chan made himself.
He sped up the movie by shortening scenes
And the new success speaks for itself.

In perusing the Hong Kong edit,
I was surprised by a few things.
Firstly, that the story wasn’t that bad,
Ditto for the action it brings.

The direction itself was much better
Than I had recalled seeing before.
It was the editing that made all the difference.
It was the editing that evened the score.

Thus, a bad movie was made a lot better
By trimming some much-needed footage.
In addition, Mr. Chan added more scenes
And inserted his own unique footage.

I watched the Japanese version,
Which was a longer film by a bit.
They included new fight scenes and plot
That rounded the film out a bit.

The fight at the end of both versions
Is a fight sequence well worth seeing.
Bill “Superfoot” Wallace fights Jackie Chan,
And he cheats, and he snarls, and acts mean.

In all, if you’re to watch this film,
I give the US version a two,
For nearly putting me to sleep,
By an editor that hadn’t a clue.

The Hong Kong version gets a four.
It’s not one of Chan’s best films,
But it’s good stunt-filled action that I’ll recommend
Against the list of Jackie Chan’s films.

Jackie hated making this movie so much
That the next movie in his name
Was a movie that topped this film in every way.
Police Story was its name.

A job well done.

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