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The Protector (1985)

The Protector (1985)

Whaaa... two reviews for the same movie?! It might seem that way, but the The Protector (1985) and The Protector (1985) are really quite different clicks. This title marked Jackie Chan's attempted debut in Hollywood, but it didn't go quite how he wanted it to. The movie was released in both the US and in Hong Kong, and as Jackie had a bit more control of the HK version he edited some things out of the original.

Or which one is the original? Is the US version the original? Depends on how you look at it.

The voices in the American version are definitely the originals, and though they work well for all Americans, they don't work well at all for Jackie! His lines all sound strained, them accent troubles, and I guess that's why he doesn't get to speak much.

There's much more swearing, and much less respect (like how Jackie's buddy says 'looks like a bunch of shit to me' when he looks at the coin). Compared to the HK dub (well at least Jackie speaks himself in that version) it feels overly crude, but that's the way of America baby!

The main difference film-wise is the death scene of the girls father, Ho. They find the boat all burnt out... no fight at all! After that they try adding in some 'Chinese wisdom', prophecy, destiny, stuff like that. It is Chinese, definitely, but they're trying too hard - it doesn't fit in.

After watching the previous HK version this feels somewhat incomplete, most of the fights aren't here, just the final... well you do get to see some naked women. Naked women in a Jackie Chan movie?! First and only time ever. Those were cut out from the HK release.

The ending fight wasn't as different as I'd expected, but it was much shorter; didn't involve so much martial arts. The master-villain practically begged for the knuckleduster instead of having it handed to him by the boss. Tot the same dignity at all.

Conclusively, I'd say I liked the HK version better. Not just because of the extra fights (it's 20 minutes longer) but because it portrays not just Jackie but all characters in a more reputable manner. Even the villains are reputable.

This movie does have a better flow, sound quality is better than the partially dubbed version but... it's not the Jackie Chan style of movie. The HK version wasn't either, but it was more than this one. With a different main character this would've been just one more action movie in the gritty eighties line-up, and great on its own edge... but Jackie's debut? Come on.

 rated 3/5: not bad


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