PROTEGE is all in the details. It shys away from the movie stereotypes as it provides no easy answers and show
destructive drugs are while painting the drug dealers as real people (with families). PROTEGE revolves around Nick (Daniel
Wu), an undercover cop who has been inside of the operation a Hong Kong crime boss Quin (Andy Lau) for the last few years.
Quin has taken to Nick to the point that he wants Nick to take over and marry his wife's younger sister. Meanwhile,
Nick becomes attracted to Jane (Zhang Jing Chu), a single mother/ heroin addict. Jane is trying to kick the habit
while Nick is trying to bust a herion operation from the inside. To make maters worst, the husband Jane ran away
from has found her (he's a junkie too).
PROTEGE features story elements recognizable in many drug related films. The difference here is that it shows everyone
from the drug dealers to the cops to the addicts as human beings. It shows the attraction and horror of being
a junkie. LIke AMERICAN GANGSTER, it shows every part of the drug operation. Quin like the head gangster
(in AMERICAN GANGSTER) feel they're entitled and they feel justified in selling the drugs. Given the strict ways
in how China handles certain subject matter in their country, the bonus material on the DVD point to the fact that allowing
PROTEGE to tackle it is a positive sign (for China and their film industry). Writer/ Director Derek Yee is a part
of a generation of filmmakers who tightly script and direct their films (Johnnie To is another one). Derek Yee
thoroughly researched the subject matter for this film and it shows. I'm glad he goes in the opposite direction
of the typical bad guy stereotypes seen in films like this. PROTEGE is one of the best films to come from Hong
Kong. It's in the same league as ELECTION and INFERNAL AFFAIRS.
feature audio commentary by Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan. Bey Logan gives a wealth of info on the cast and
crew, the film, the locations, and points of the story he had problems with even though it was for the drama of the
THE MAKING OF PROTEGE- cast and crew talk about the film with clips from the production and the film.
UNDERCOVER & OVER THE EDGE- interview with Daniel Wu as he talks about the role, working with director Daniel Wu,
and mentioning that Louis Koo is a big Darth Vader/ Star Wars fan
CHASING THE DARGON- interview with Zhang Jing Chu that includes how she played the role, did the love scene, and talked
with fomer drug addicts
THE DEALER- an interview with producer Peter Chan as he talks about how independent the director is, picking the right
cast, and more.
rounding out the extras is the original theatrical trailer.
FINAL ANALYSIS: PROTEGE is down and dirty as it stays away from common movie stereotypes seen in movies about drug
dealing. It is different from many of the Hong Kong films of the past. check it out.
this DVD review is (c)2-24-2009 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to