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Starring: Maggie Q, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Action thriller directed by Martin Campbell. The Protégé (2021) follows Anna (Maggie Q), a skilled contract killer who was rescued as a child by the legendary assassin Moody (Samuel L. Jackson), and who has taught her everything she knows. But when Moody is murdered, Anna vows revenge and becomes entangled with an enigmatic killer, Rembrandt (Michael Keaton), whose attraction to her goes way beyond cat and mouse, but their confrontation turns deadly, and the loose ends of a life spent killing weave themselves ever tighter.
Our Favorite Quotes:'It is a rare gift to have a friend who trusts you enough not to try and help until you ask.' - Moody (The Protégé) Click To Tweet
Don Preda: Exactly, who are you people?
Anna: We just find people who can’t be found.
Don Preda: The money. You’re going to have it maybe for an hour. Then we come take it back, cut you both into pieces, and feed you to my pigs. That doesn’t worry you?
Don Preda: Why?
Anna: I didn’t come here for money. I came here for you.
[she stabs him in the neck]
Moody: [after Anna’s killed Don Preda] Didn’t take any, huh?
Anna: Take what?
Moody: Money. It was all there, right?
Anna: We were paid to eliminate a target. We did that.
Moody: Well, you know, three mil in dirty money, and nobody’s looking for them. Just saying.
Anna: You need to see a doctor about that cough.
Moody: Traditional, or a witch?
Anna: You? Definitely a witch.
Moody: I know just the voodoo queen to call.
Seema: Three weeks, and this is all you come back with?
Anna: You know sellers. They know you’ve come all that way, and they play hard to get.
Seema: Don’t you want to just kill people like that?
Claudia: [referring to Moody] So the other day, he says to me, “Seventy is the new thirty.”
Anna: Well, that’s just something old guys say.
Moody: [referring to his birthday candles] You skimped on the candles I see.
Claudia: Seventy would have been a fire hazard.
Moody: African limba. Nothing else sounds like it. I’d just about given up hope of finding one. How in the world did you?
Anna: You. You taught me how to find things that didn’t want to be found.
Moody: You know, one of the twins called me last night to say she was pregnant.
Anna: Daisy in Dover?
Moody: No, Daisy in Manchester. Daisy in Dover’s a dyke.
Moody: It is a rare gift to have a friend who trusts you enough not to try and help until you ask.
Anna: [referring to the heavyset keys] If you fell in a pond with those, you’d drown.
Moody: Well, if I fell in the pond without them, I’d probably float away.
Anna: What is that?
Moody: Those are the souls waiting for me on the other side. I’m sure they have a reception planned. I sent away so many prematurely. Either by my hand, or through you.
Anna: We never sent anyone away who didn’t have it coming.
Moody: Maybe. But, I’m sure there are quite a few spirits up there, waiting for me with a bone to pick.
Anna: Aw. You really believe you’re going up?
Moody: Don’t you?
Moody: I may have to go back to Vietnam. Be nice if you went with me.
Anna: I’m never going back there.
Moody: Our past is never where we left it, little chameleon. We all have scars. You stare at them long enough, you remember how you got them.
Rembrandt: I’m looking for a book. An old book. Like, rare.
Anna: Like, rare?
Anna: Either they are, or they aren’t. Books aren’t like a steak. You can’t get them like medium-rare.
Rembrandt: That’s funny.
Rembrandt: Yeah, but funny.
'Our past is never where we left it.' - Moody (The Protégé) Click To Tweet
Rembrandt: I find you interesting. You’re interesting. And beautiful, sure. Not in that ornamental kind of way. It’s the interesting part that’s got me wondering.
Anna: Wondering what?
Rembrandt: How long after I give you my number will it take you to decide that I’m just as interesting and give me a call?
Anna: Twenty-seven minutes.
Rembrandt: That long?
Anna: First, I have to pretend to cancel my date, and then I have to feed my cat.
Rembrandt: That’s six.
Anna: The rest is me playing hard to get.
Billy Boy: I never thought I’d see you here again.
Anna: Well, maybe you’re not seeing me now.
Anna: Billy Boy. I mean, I know you run with all kinds, but now you’re running with stupid?
Billy Boy: How’s Moody?
Anna: He’s dead.
Billy Boy: [toasts] To Moody.
Anna: I have questions. You give me answers. If I’m satisfied, you’ll never see me again. If I’m not, I’ll be the last thing you ever see.
Rembrandt: [to Anna after she’s been captured by Duquet and his men] That was a long twenty-seven minutes. I’m still waiting for your call. It’s alright. I don’t take these things personally.
Rembrandt: [to Anna] I’m not going to lie to you. There’s not much chance this ends well for you.
Rembrandt: [to Anna] I’m sorry about your friend, Moody. I had no part of that. Or the firefight at the bookstore. I’m an “after-the-facts” guy. I come in and make sure there’s no loose ends. I look for things that might seem benign, but aren’t. Like a bookstore owned by an assassin. Boy, I never saw that one coming. I misread you completely.
Rembrandt: [to Anna] I’m your last line of defense. End of the road. There’s no more lifelines. You understand?
Rembrandt: [to Duquet] You guys kill me. You’re all the same. Shoot first and ask questions later.
'Nobody is as deaf as those who don't want to listen.' - Billy Boy (The Protégé) Click To Tweet
Rembrandt: [referring to Anna] She’s not going to run. She’s going to lick her wounds, then she’s coming after you.
Rembrandt: Really? Because right now it’s four-zero. She’s winning.
Billy Boy: This is Vietnam, Anna. You know what it’s like here. You owe it to Moody to stay alive.
Anna: I know what I owe him.
Anna: Moody was beautiful. In his way. He was kind. And not through effort. It was just a part of who he was. He didn’t save my life, he gave me a life. He knew who I was, and what I’d become. And he protected me.
Billy Boy: Hayes has been dead for thirty years. Vohl is no longer. And you got some very bad people looking for you.
Anna: Lucas Hayes killed Moody. He knows I’m looking for him. His last known location is Saint Quiteria Hospital.
Billy Boy: Nobody is as deaf as those who don’t want to listen.
Rembrandt: [over phone] Wow. Four men dead and nothing on camera. Place looked like an abattoir. Was it the food?
Anna: You know, it was bad manners.
Rembrandt: Yeah, well, that’s no way to treat a lady.
Anna: Oh, I’m no lady.
Rembrandt: Well, I’m not always a gentleman myself.
Anna: I wouldn’t sell yourself short.
Rembrandt: Well, coming from you, that’s a compliment.
Rembrandt: Hey, you up for dinner? I can answer some questions and, you know, save you some time. What do you say, we say to La Cinq? Tomorrow night. Eight o’clock.
Anna: I mean you can say it, but I won’t be there.
Edward Hayes: [referring to Anna] You’re intrigued by her.
Edward Hayes: Need I worry?
Edward Hayes: The joys of a room full of the wealthy and the privileged donating large sums for a noble cause. It never gets old.
Rembrandt: Why do you do this?
Edward Hayes: It’s what people in my position are supposed to do, Michael. Give to the less fortunate.
Edward Hayes: I asked if I should be worried, about the woman.
Rembrandt: Nope. Not yet.
Edward Hayes: Please wrap up this unpleasantness by Sunday. I don’t want to be embarrassed before the celebration.
Anna: [referring to Moody] Someone killed a friend of mine because of a contract he completed years ago. And anyone I ask about it ends up dead. Why is that?
Rembrandt: Well, I don’t know, but some people might take that as a sign. Why don’t you just consider it a mystery best left unsolved.
Anna: But I like mysteries.
Anna: When I started this, I was curious. And then I went from curious to concerned.
Rembrandt: And now?
Anna: I’m testy. And trust me, you don’t want to know me when I’m testy.
[points her gun at him under the table]
Anna: Who’s paying for the orphan kid? I’d like to talk to whoever that is.
Rembrandt: That would be unwise.
Anna: Unwise is killing a man who was a second father to me. We are way past unwise.
Anna: Oh, I’m not here to kill you, yet. Just get answers.
Rembrandt: You always ask like this?
Anna: Yeah, I like to have people’s attention when I talk, you know?
Rembrandt: Well, you certainly have the attention of the boys down there.
Rembrandt: [referring to her gun] You think that’s enough to get you out of here?
Anna: Four quick shots, and then a slow walk to the exit amongst the chaos. Yeah.
Rembrandt: Something unexpected could happen. You know, usually does.
[points his gun at her under the table]
Rembrandt: How about that? Our first awkward silence. You know what? I didn’t get your name.
Anna: We’ll see.
Rembrandt: What do you say we forget these drinks? Let’s just go find a nice hotel.
Anna: You point a gun at my pu**y, and then you ask me to bed? I like your style.
Rembrandt: Said the woman with hollow points pointed at my balls.
Anna: Well, let’s hope this doesn’t get messy. These are my favorite shoes.
Rembrandt: Manolo’s, classic four-inch pumps.
Anna: A man who knows Poe and footwear.
Rembrandt: Let me put this to you delicately. You keep this up, you’re going to die.
Anna: Vietnam has always been a place of death. Only the lucky ones make it out alive. I was lucky once.
Rembrandt: You don’t get lucky twice.
Anna: I’m going to find out who killed my friend.
Rembrandt: And when you do?
Anna: I’m going to end their life, and anyone standing in my way.
Rembrandt: Hey, I know this sounds crazy, but I’d really like to see you again. Under, you know, different circumstances.
Anna: This was personal time. So these are the best circumstances you’ll ever see me in.
Duquet: [referring to Anna] Name’s Nadia Zhukova.
Rembrandt: An Asian Russian. Boy. You don’t really see that. Ever.
Rembrandt: [to Anna as they’re fighting] Make up your mind. Kill me, or f*** me.
Rembrandt: [after they’ve had sex] Is it weird that we’re in this guy’s bed while he’s up there? You know, hanging?
Anna: No. Be a waste of a nice bed.
Rembrandt: You don’t want me dead, yet.
Anna: Why haven’t you killed me? Could you?
Rembrandt: I could put two in the back of your head and go make a sandwich.
Anna: Well, you always said this wasn’t going to work out.
Rembrandt: Well, it’s been my experience, it never does. At least not for the other guy.
Anna: Is there a way around that?
Rembrandt: You’re holding all the cards.
Rembrandt: I’m watching a woman walk over a shark tank, on a tight rope, in high winds. You’re not going to make it, Anna.
Anna: [referring to Hayes] He’s a bad man who’s done very bad things.
Moody: Get in. Get out. You know you only get lucky once.
Anna: Yeah, someone else just told me that.
Moody: [to Anna] Did you really think they could kill me that easily?
Moody: You could always think on your feet anyway.
Anna: Not so much tonight.
Moody: That’s what friends are for, right?
Anna: Oh, good. We’re friends again.
Moody: Ooh, you got laid, didn’t you?
Moody: Still a pessimistic little s**t, aren’t you?
Billy Boy: And you’re still a cockroach you can’t kill. I mean that in a good way.
Edward Hayes: Over these considerable years, I’ve learned to my great satisfaction there is no better way to cleanse the soul than to do good, to perform selfless deeds and acts of kindness, to sacrifice for others, and most importantly, to give generously.
Moody: You look really good for a man who’s been dead thirty years, Mr. Hayes.
Edward Hayes: How did you get in here?
Moody: Technology. S**t’s going to f*** us all one day.
Edward Hayes: Who are you?
Moody: I’m the big bad wolf that comes to get you when someone on this earth decides your time is up.
Edward Hayes: Moody.
Moody: Resurrection’s a b**ch, ain’t it?
Edward Hayes: Come to finish the job, have you?
Moody: Well, you did hire me all those years ago to kill you, right?
Moody: Who was really in that car?
Edward Hayes: Does it matter? Disposable asset. No one of consequence.
Moody: See, that’s the kind of s**t I expect someone like you to say. “No one of any consequence.”
Moody: I mean, I can’t be all morally righteous. I kill people for a living. Bad people, mind you. But still, I never pretend to be anything else. You, you’re front and center of a dozen high profile charitable causes. The world sees you as clean as first f***ing snow. But your hands are covered in s**t and blood, and everything from sarin gas to human trafficking.
Edward Hayes: So you know why I had to arrange my demise.
Edward Hayes: No one looks for a dead man. I was able to continue behind a shroud of respectability that allowed me to…
Moody: To become a bigger monster. The irony of all this, Mr. Hayes, is that I was just trying to make amends to your son for taking his father away from him. You brought all this upon yourself.
Rembrandt: You don’t look so good.
Anna: Oh, I don’t know. Nothing an apple martini and a liter of AB-positive won’t fix, huh? Hey, what do you think the chances are of me getting either?
Edward Hayes: I find it amusing you think you’re better than me.
Moody: Not better. Different. See, most people are good, Mr. Hayes. And occasionally, they do something they know is bad. Some people are bad, and they struggle every day to keep it under control. Others are corrupt to the core, and just don’t give a damn. That would be me. But evil? Evil is a completely different creature, Mr. Hayes. Evil believes bad is okay, its actions justified. Violence divorced from conscience. No matter what toll it takes, or who it takes it upon. And there, my friend, is where we part ways.
Moody: I’m just a bad man who’s looking to pay for his sins.
Edward Hayes: I see. So you’re here to clear your conscience first.
Edward Hayes: You’ll never get out of here alive.
Moody: I never intended to.
Rembrandt: One more thing. You could have killed the old man. Why didn’t you?
Anna: That wasn’t the plan.
Anna: You just going to stand there?
Rembrandt: For now. It doesn’t have to be this way, Anna. Not anymore.
Anna: We all have to pay for our sins eventually.
Rembrandt: Doesn’t have to be today.
Anna: I’m tired. I want peace. And I can’t have it knowing you’re out there.
Rembrandt: What if I told you, you could?
Anna: Yeah. Two in the back of the head, then go have a sandwich.
Rembrandt: You can’t buy back your past, Anna. You can’t change where you came from. But you can change where you’re going.
Anna: Where would that be?
[they point their guns at each other, two shots are heard, then we see Anna leaving]