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The Protégé Ending: What Maggie Q Loves Most About Her Final Scene With Michael Keaton

Maggie Q and Michael Keaton in The Protege

The following contains spoilers for the ending of The Protegé.

In a lot of ways The Protégé, is like a lot of action movies that we've all seen before. However, there are a couple of ways that the movie is quite unique. One is that the lead character is an Asian woman, played by Maggie Q. The other is the way the movie ends. It's got the sort of ending that we don't see often and one that we maybe are not expecting considering that the lead character is a woman. And that's why Maggie Q loves the movie's ending so much.

While The Protégé is certainly an action-movie first, the film does have something in it that one could call a romantic element. That's an over simplification, but in the end of the movie, Maggie Q's Anna is forced to choose between the life that's lived up to this point, and Rembrandt, played by Michael Keaton, with home she has built something of a relationship. In another movie you would expect the woman to pick the man, but Anna does not. As Maggie Q explained to USA Today...

What I loved about the ending is it's not like so many movies where you see the woman fall head-over-heels, desperately in love. With the ending, Anna is saying, 'I'm living in reality. I know the world that I can live in. It's not a world that includes you.' I don't know if I've ever seen a woman (onscreen) say that in that dynamic.

And The Protégé makes this statement in a pretty powerful way. The final scene sees Anna and Rembrandt holding guns on each other. He tries to convince her that she doesn't need to live her life this way. The audience only sees the flash of a gun shot, unsure exactly who fired and what the result was. A moment ;later, Anna exits the building alone.

While the ending allows for some ambiguity, there are sequels to consider, after all, the initial impression is that Anna has killed Rembrandt. She's killed everybody else who got in her way to this point, and so it's not exactly a stretch to believe she would be willing to do this, despite what she ultimately thought about the guy.

What is clear is that there is no happily ever after for this relationship. As Maggie Q says, her character sees the reality of the situation and she knows that whatever her feelings are, she can't simply do whatever she wants. Considering how rarely we see women at the forefront of movies like this, it's that much more rare to see that woman behave in such a way. So often stories led by women are about romance first, and while there's nothing wrong with a little romance, it's nice to see something else now and then to mix it up.

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.