The Protector | Chicago Reader

The Protector

Asian superstar Jackie Chan is by far the most gifted physical comic working in movies; he has the deadpan grace of Keaton and the daredevil flair of Harold Lloyd. This detective thriller, shot in English with an American director (James Glickenhaus, of The Exterminator) and costar (Danny Aiello) represented yet another attempt by Chan's Hong Kong producers to establish him as a box-office force in America, and the format—he's a New York cop sent to Hong Kong to cut off a drug connection—didn't allow him to show off his slapstick skills. But it's still a rousing action piece, thanks to Glickenhaus's imaginative, highly dynamic staging and Chan's astonishing athletic prowess. A sequence in which Chan chases a speedboat across Hong Kong harbor, leaping from the bows of junks, houseboats, and ships, has a springy, exhilarating magic, uncompromised by any recourse to camera trickery.

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