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Bulletproof Monk – Review September 24, 2009

Posted by Cello in Domestic Film Reviews.
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bulletproofmonk
In 1943, a Tibetan monk with no name, played by Chow Yun-Fat, has just been given the duty to protect an ancient scroll, called the Scroll of the Ultimate, from his mentor. Of course people go after the scroll and we are suddenly shot up to present day. As they continue to close in on him, Monk With No Name has a chance encounter with Kar (Seann William Scott), a pickpocket with a good heart whom he suspects may have what it takes to be his successor. Add in a love interest for Kar, in the form of a dangerous Russian mobster’s daughter, and you can pretty much write the rest of the movie yourself.

Were the rest of Bulletproof Monk either amusing, exciting, or even unintentionally bad, one might have been able to overlook its severely flawed narrative. But no, the premise is utterly preposterous, lets get that out of the way. What I will say is that Chow Yun Fat is a superb actor who never fails to give his best to any type of role he undertakes. He often overcomes any flaws in the script itself, and I feel that is what he did here. He has played many different types of characters and never repeats himself.  He’s sly, even sardonic, and though he’s a spiritual soul his faith isn’t heavy-handed. Seann William Scott has a goofy charm and at least holds his own as Kar. Together the two have the easy chemistry, which was actually quite relieving.

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The action in Bulletproof Monk is fun to watch. Some of the moves are performed in the good ol’ kung fu movie vein using wires and a little slo-mo, but they only add to the fun. Then, that’s part of Bulletproof Monk’s problem; it’s too silly to take seriously yet too serious to pass completely off as a farce. The real shame is simply that Yun-Fat, an engaging and admittedly skilled actor can’t get a better movie than this. He strides through this thing with quiet dignity, bringing pride to a film where there really should be none.

So, maybe I’ve just been in a good mood lately, but I know how bad this movie review sounds. This film’s historical accuracy is grossly questionable, and a good portion of the acting is overdone. So why in the world did it get a passing grade from me? I have to come clean, this is a guilty pleasure. I’m fully aware it’s not a good movie, in fact I’m probably out of my mind for enjoying it this much, but I thought it was fun! There’s no explaining why Scott was selected to be repositioned and remuscled into an action hero. But, I’m not going to sit around and try and figure that out. It’s clearly not meant to be a very serious movie so if you can get beyond that, you might be able to find some merit in it.
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Comments»

1. goregirl - September 24, 2009

I liked your comment about Chow Yun Fat bringing quiet dignity and pride to a film where there should really be none. It made me feel sad seeing him in this movie. He has been so brilliant in so many Asian films. It seems like fantastic actors that are huge in other countries get wooed by Hollywood, but inevitably are put in the worse crap they are completely unsuited for. There are a couple relatively fun high-energy action scenes, but Sean William Scott as Chow Yun Fat’s successor? Please! That is so wrong! So terribly wrong!

2. Cello - September 24, 2009

If I recall, Chow Yun Fat actually quit US movies after this due to his embarassment. Why he reemerged and did Dragoball is beyond me, but hes back to doing overseas movies so at least he’s aware of his downfall and is returning to form.

3. Heather - September 24, 2009

I will watch ANYTHING with Chow Yun Fat. He is one of my favorite actors of all time. He has that DeNiro quality where he speaks to you with his eyes. The language barrier means nothing with that man.

That being said………..DeNiro still did Showtime, which is a guilty pleasure of mine………so as Chow Yun Fat did make a “bad” here, I have to agree with you, as lame as Bulletproof Monk was, and the strange casting of Sean William Scott, it was still enjoyable. Kinda dumb, but enjoyable.

4. bluedrakon - September 29, 2009

I have to agree that this was a little under what I would of expected Chow Yun Fat to be apart of. The concept was well thought out, but the delivery left something to be desired.
I liked the history of where it all came from, but then to dump it to 2 “kids” to hold this for the future?

5. anivention - October 11, 2009

How could u review such a painful movie? Kudos to you


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