Mei’s latest feat of memory, involving the elaborately disguised combination to the titular lockbox, will eventually make her the target in a three-way struggle among her current masters, the ruble-relishers, and corrupt elements of the New York City Police Department under the command of ruthless Captain Wolf (Robert John Burke).

Since his first sighting of the innocent Mei restrained Luke from committing suicide, he regards her as his savior, and he resolves, in turn, to protect her at all costs (thus the other meanings of the title). As the array of villains pursuing Mei soon discover, the cost will indeed be high.

The potentially touching story of Mei’s random but redeeming presence in Luke’s life gets trampled underfoot as writer-director Boaz Yakin rushes from one bone-cracking, windpipe-crushing brawl to the next.

“You broke his trachea!” runs one absurd, but all-too-accurate line of dialogue. While a good narrative is supposed to show, not tell, in this case, we could have done without the demonstration.

The film contains excessive graphic violence, brief gruesome images, about a half-dozen uses of profanity, twice that number of rough terms, frequent crude and crass language and adult references, including to homosexuality. The Catholic News Service classification is O – morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R – restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.