Rating

C+

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Great kung fu action
  • Chow Yun-Fat kicks a$$
  • Many language options
  • Many subtitle options
Cons
  • Badly written characters
  • So-so plot

Bulletproof Monk (DVD)

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Summary

A Mismatch in Many Ways

Description

In Bulletproof Monk, the Chinese martial arts action star Chow Yun-Fat stars in the title role of this film, along w/ his unlikely protégé Seann William Scott, the bad boy of American Pie fame. Now let's pause for a moment here. Can you image Scott kowtowing to Chow Yun-Fat? No, I didn't think so. This is a perfect example of how decisions made by the director, while good on the surface, just didn't work out in the movie itself.

Bulletproof Monk is a martial arts action film where Chow Yun-Fat plays a Tibetan monk who has been protecting a sacred scroll for the past 60 years while being pursued by the Nazi. Seann William Scott plays a streetwise thief who the monk considers making his successor. Let's pause again. Does this storyline sound believable to you? No, I thought not. The plot, unfortunately, turns out to be equally nonsensical. The characters' backgrounds are just as ill-conceived, particularly for Jaime King's Jade/Bad Girl.

Bulletproof Monk is essentially a bunch of martial arts action scenes around which a story is created/written. If viewed in this manner, the casting of Seann William Scott as protégé to Chow Yun-Fat makes sense. Scott has demonstrated his ability to do very physical scenes in the American Pie movies. Doing a martial arts film is a natural progression for him. Unfortunately, he just didn't have much on-camera chemistry with Chow Yun-Fat. The lack of chemistry is even more so with Jaime King, who plays the romantic interest of Scott in the film. King is superb in the fighting scenes, but her lack of chemistry with Scott casts a dark cloud on her acting performance in this film.

The plot doesn't make much sense, and the action scenes aren't really integrated into the story behind the film. That may be why the film felt bizarre to this viewer at times.

The Bulletproof Monk Special Edition DVD comes with plenty of extras. The most notable features are the audio options (English, French, and Spanish), subtitles options (English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese), and an alternative ending.

If you're a fan of Chow Yun-Fat or martial actions films, then you should get this DVD. If you hate movies with bad plots or characters, then you should stay away from this DVD.

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