Bulletproof Monk [2003]

Director: Paul Hunter
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Seann William Scott, Jaime King, Karel Roden, Victoria Smurfit
Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 104 minutes

The tremendous charisma of Chow Yun-fat anchors this entertaining comic-book romp. Bulletproof Monk centers around a monk with no name (Chow) dedicated to protecting a sacred scroll that can give world-manipulating power to anyone who reads it. A hidden Nazi has been pursuing the scroll for 60 years and has finally caught up with the monk in present-day New York City; meanwhile, the monk suspects he may have found a disciple in a petty thief (Seann William Scott, Dude, Where's My Car?, American Pie) who's learned kung fu from watching double-feature chopsocky flicks. Don't let the presence of Chow Yun-fat lead you to expect much substance--this doesn't have the emotional scope of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or the visual panache of Hard-Boiled. But Bulletproof Monk is a cheerful, tightly edited, unpretentious action flick with flashes of humor, good for a mindless evening's entertainment. Also featuring Jaime (a.k.a. James) King (Blow). --Bret Fetzer

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