Bulletproof Monk is a 2003 martial arts action-fantasy film starring Chow Yun-fat, Seann William Scott and Jaime King. The film was directed by Paul Hunter. It is loosely based on the comic book by Michael Avon Oeming. The film was shot in Toronto, Ontario, and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and other locations that look closely like New York City. The storyline opens in Tibet in the year 1943, wherein one of its protagonists, a Tibetan monk, is informed that he has fulfilled the prophecies made of him - he has fought an army of enemies while a flock of cranes circled above; fought for love at the palace of Jade; saved his brothers whom he did not know; and forsook his name. He is then entrusted by his master with the protection of a Scroll which contains knowledge by which the reader becomes the most powerful of living things - a protection that will keep him youthful and immunize him to injury until, at the close of 60 years, he must pass the knowledge to an heir. The master, who has formerly been the guardian of this Scroll, is killed by German soldiers shortly after the transfer. His pupil, the now nameless Monk, escapes despite the Nazi commander's expectations. 60 years later, a
Release Date: April 16, 2003
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"Bulletproof Monk" invites comparisons to many infinitely better movies, among them "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
However, the sad truth is that this lame martial-arts superhero action film has a lot more in common with "Highlander" and the long-forgotten video game that spawned the "Double Dragon."
While the action in "Bulletproof Monk" ensures that it's neither as bad as those movies, nor a complete snore, it's still rather forgettable.
The title character (Chow Yun-Fat) is a Tibetan monk whose special abilities were attained when he gained possession of a mystical scroll. The nameless hero has been pursued for 60 years by the evil Struker (Karel Roden), who wants the power for himself.
Six decades of running is tiring, so the monk is looking to pass on his legacy to a new hero. The most promising candidate appears to be Kar (Seann William Scott), a pickpocket who learned his fighting moves by studying old kung-fu movies.
On the run from Struker, who's managed to track them down, the two are also joined by Jade (Jaime King), a beautiful gang member and "bad girl" with a secret of her own.
There's more plot, but suffice it to say that screenwriters Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris have taken great liberties with the source material, the readable comic-book series of the same name.
The only thing the film really has going for it is Chow, whose English-speaking skills continue to improve and who lends the film a grace it's otherwise lacking. Too bad all of his efforts are in service of such a complete clunker.
As for his co-star, despite the obvious martial-arts training, Scott isn't very convincing as an action hero. Nor, for that matter, is King, whose wooden performance is at least more tolerable than Roden's over-the-top villain.
"Bulletproof Monk" is rated PG-13 for martial arts and action violence (including hand-to-hand combat, gunplay and explosive mayhem), scattered use of strong profanity and some crude sexual slang terms, a scene of torture and brief drug content (use of tranquilizer darts). Running time: 103 minutes.
E-MAIL: email@example.comApril 17th, 2003 · Details