Margaret Denise Quigley, better known as Maggie Q, is an actress born in Honolulu and of Polish, Irish, and Vietnamese descent. At seventeen, she started as a model in Japan and Taiwan, later settling in Hong Kong and becoming the protégé of Jackie Chan, who redirected her career to become a martial arts movie star.
At the end of the 1990s, Maggie Q gained recognition for her participation in films such as Gen-Y Cops (sequel to Gen X Cops) Y Naked weapon. Chan takes her to Hollywood and there she is part of the blockbuster Rush Hour 2, which led her to participate in Impossible Mission III with Tom Cruise and in Die Hard 4.0 alongside Bruce Willis.
After working on the deceptionalong with Ewan McGregor and Hugh Jackman, Maggie happens to be the protagonist of Nikita, series based on the film by Luc Besson. From then on his work has alternated between the cinema (the trilogy of Divergent) and television (Stalker, Designated Survivor).
Martin Campbell, the New Zealand director who was at the peak of his career with Royal Casino (one of the best, if not the best film in the James Bond saga) and who fell out of favor with the unfortunate film adaptation of the superhero Green Lantern, directed in 2017 to Jackie Chan in The Foreigners, a great thriller and one of the few dramatic films starring the martial arts star. Now Campbell wanted to do the same with Maggie Q.
The result is one of the best, if not the best action movie in the career of this 43-year-old actress, heiress to Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock. explosive revenge (its original title is The Protégé), is a film with that raw, wild and uncompromising spirit of the best B-class cinema, which includes two great actors in the male cast: Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson.
In this film full of twists and surprises, written by Richard Wenk, an action movie veteran (Equalizer, Jack Reacher, Expendables), Maggie plays Anna Dutton, a woman of Russian and Vietnamese descent, who was rescued from hell as a child by Moody Dutton (Jackson), a hit man who made her his protégé, in a dynamic very similar to that of that Jackson had with Brie Larson in Captain Marvel.
Anna has a double life. Her profession as a professional assassin is hidden under the identity of the sophisticated owner of a bookstore, specializing in rare and expensive editions. Suffice it to say that a man unexpectedly arrives in Anna’s life, and it is Michael Rembrandt (Keaton), an enigmatic and irreverent subject with whom sexual chemistry immediately occurs, despite the fact that behind him, danger looms. imminent.
As this is a revenge film, things are not going to go well in the assassin’s last mission and she will have to use all her intelligence and skills to get ahead (in very good quality choreography of shootouts and fights) , while he must return to Vietnam and confront Rembrandt repeatedly, in a dynamic very similar to the one that Michael Keaton had with Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns.
explosive revenge does not reach the level of Campbell’s best films (also director of GoldenEye, The Mask of Zorro and Edge of Darkness), and much less can it be compared with the great films about revenge like Kill Bill either John Wick. However, this is one of those highly entertaining films best enjoyed alongside a Pepperoni pizza and a few good beers.