Comedy Action
Bulletproof Monk
Dir: Paul Hunter
Star: Chow Yun-Fat, Seann William Scott, Jaime King, Karel Roden, Victoria Smurfit
Cert / Year: 12A - PG13 / 2003
Format: DVD R2

In 1943 a monk is given the responsibility to protect a magic scroll. It bestows upon its guardian the power of healing mortal injuries and protection from aging, it also grants untold power to anyone who reads it out loud. Enter Strucker a Nazi who wants the power so that he can wipe the inferior races from the planet. Strucker pursues the monk for 60 years until the present day when the monk encounters Kar a young thief in which he sees much potential. Will Kar be worthy of guarding the scroll and will the monk live long enough to find out?

I must admit I really thought this film was going to be a big pile of pants. The trailer looked like a mess of CGI and wire work, with zero believability in what little story there is. In many ways this is true, but what is does have is a cracking cast and a sharp script that refuses to take itself too seriously. These factors ensure that the film is far from pants, in fact it is really enjoyable. It is very silly, true enough, but it is a whole heap of fun as well.

Lets get this straight the fights are for the most part just CGI and wire work, and while it may look quite nice it is not realistic or impressive in the slightest. Forget Jackie Chan we are talking a modern day Monkey (cult Japanese TV series) here. This would spell doom for a serious action movie, but this is a lightweight action comedy and as such it works just fine. In fact this is more like a cross between Remo: Unarmed and Dangerous and the Golden Child rather than anything as serious as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

The central pairing of the film is the films greatest strength. Chow Yun-Fat delivers another calm performance as the unflappable ultra knowledgeable monk. Whereas Sean William Scott is as appealing as ever in the role of the rogue with a heart, and the monks new found pupil (whether he likes it or not). It is the interaction between these two characters that generates the humor and makes the film so ultimately likeable. A good supporting cast helped especially by Jamie King and the over the top performance from Victoria Smurfit, they both look good and kick butt.

There are any number of Master pupil movies out there and any number of scared artifact films, so nothing here is particularly new. The story is paper-thin and in places doesn't really work, but some gutsy direction from newcomer Paul Hunter ensures that the film keeps throwing enough action and spectacle at the screen to paper over the faults. The end result is entertainingly humorous, remarkably silly, and downright fun. Bulletproof Monk may not win any awards, but in every respect it is better than it had any rights to be.


A power beyond measure requires a protector without equal.


Monk: Let me put it in terms you will understand. Why do hot dogs come in packages of ten, but hot dog buns only come in packages of just eight?

Rating: 3 out of 5

Picture 2.35:1 Anamorphic Yep it's good.
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Sounds good too.
Features Commentary by director and producer
Deleted scenes and an alternative ending
6 featurettes
Photo Gallery
Verdict A fine transfer and a pretty standard selection of extras. Not too bad but nothing outstanding.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Link Back Top Home