Bulletproof Monk, based on the Image comic of the same name, makes for an implausible and ridiculous movie.
It is a flat-out spoof pretending to be a serious action film.
The movie centers around an ancient scroll, which gives infinite power when read. Apparently, the scroll has a guardian who is charged with protecting it for a period of 60 years.
The bearer of this burden is decided when he/she fulfills a series of ancient prophecies.
As of 2003, the guardian is a nameless Tibetan monk – part of the deal for guarding the scroll is you must give up your name – portrayed by Chow Yun-Fat.
In New York City, the monk finds a pickpocket named Kar (Seann William Scott), whom he believes to be the next guardian of the scroll.
The rest of the movie consists of the monk trying to convince Kar of his destiny while they dodge a power-mad Nazi named Strucker (Karel Roden I), who has been after the scroll for 60 years.
Those involved with this movie had to have known what they were doing. The movie is too goofy to be taken seriously.
The computer effects are all very silly and fake looking, the plot is ludicrously complicated and the acting is wooden.
Scott sounds like he is reading lines off cue cards, Yun-Fat tries hard with what he is given and Jade (Jamie King) is absolutely terrible as a Russian princess, improbably named “Bad Girl.”
Roden overacts appropriately in a role that seems to have been meant as a throwback to World War II propaganda films.
For a while it is questionable as to whether the makers of the movie meant it to be taken seriously or not.
However, when Kar gets into a fight in a subway tunnel with a shirtless Brit named Mr. Funktastic (Marcus J. Pirae), it becomes quite obvious this is a rather tongue-in-cheek endeavor.
As long as people don’t walk into this movie expecting Citizen Kane, they should have fun with it.
Yun-Fat fans shouldn’t be disappointed either.
The film contains his trademark spinning-around-with-two-guns scene, and he also gets to defy gravity – the movie operates under the assumption that people can fly strictly through mental suggestion.
If people look for any semblance of logic in this movie, however, they are just going to end up with a headache.
Chuck Delross can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.