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The Protector has one of the coolest scenes I have ever seen in a movie: the stairwell scene. Holy. Shit. I've only seen a few movies with some sort of Martial Arts in them, but the stairwell scene in The Protector takes the cake of being the best choreographed fight scene I have seen. And to think that it was all taken in one single shot...damn. That's some impressive shit. I love Hard Boiled, loved Chow Yun-fat and John Woo, but The Protector has some sort of weird charm about it that made it so entertaining for me. And to think that a sequel is coming out in May makes me cheer like a girl. It's going to be awesome.
The stairwell scene isn't even the best "choroegraphed" scene in the movie, IMHO. Directorially speaking it is a contender for one of the best executed MA scenes, and it's definitely a bit of a feat performance-execution-wise on part of the actors/fighters/stuntmen. Really well-timed and really well filmed, but the choreography is noticeably simpler than the other set pieces, which it pretty much had to be. It's kinda cool too see the (mild) strain on Tony Jaa's breathing by the end of that scene, but if he was flip-kicking and tricking out like in the rest of the film he would've needed a nebuliser to sustain the length of the scene. (Hyperbole of course, but there it is.)