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Well done! Your training is complete.
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This prayer flag symbolizes the ending...
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...of my destiny and the beginning of yours.
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Very good but light fantasy/action entertainment
8/10 Chow Yun-Fat is the "Monk with No Name" who protects an ancient scroll. Anyone who recites the scroll can harness unlimited power, utilizing it for either good or evil. The scroll-keeper has the advantage of not aging and not being able to be physically harmed. The Monk has been on the run from would be rulers of the universe for 60 years when he finally runs into a potential new scroll-keeper as promised by prophecies.3 years ago
Bulletproof Monk is a "light" comic book/fantasy/action/martial arts/comedy film in the vein of The Golden Child (1986) and The Medallion (2003). It leans most strongly towards the fantasy genre, but it's frequently funny (perhaps more subtly than one would expect) and loaded with visually poetic, wire-heavy martial arts.
Seann William Scott is Kar, a street kid who has a flair for kung fu, which he picked up by endlessly watching and emulating Asian films at the theater where he both lives and works as the projectionist. He has even more of a flair for pickpocketing. The Monk runs into him while both are on the run, and there are a number of cleverly staged scenes where Kar tries to palm a few extra bucks while the Monk attempts to teach him both ethics and enlightenment via koans about things like hot dogs and buns.
During these early scenes, they run into a hilarious group of what are effectively CHUDs (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers) minus the C, headed by a rooster-haired thug named "Funktastic". This is some of the more slyly funny material in the film--the HUDs even have an abandoned subway car turned disco in their underground lair.
The kung fu throughout most of Bulletproof Monk is of the variety often mythologized by kids as being akin to "magic". The Monk can defy gravity, move fast enough that he seems to predict his opponent's moves with near omniscience, and dodge bullets. He can even fight and eat a bowl of Cocoa Puffs at the same time. The real aim is to approach a Matrix (1999)-like reality-bending in the film's universe. Although the fantasy, almost dance-like nature of many of the fight scenes may turn off those looking for more realistic action, Troy Liddell also choreographs some parts of fight scenes more traditionally, with Yun-Fat performing something very similar to aikido--he primarily yields instead of blocking or countering, and uses his opponent's moves against themselves. It's an interesting approach that isn't used often enough in martial arts films.
The principle flaw with Bulletproof Monk is that too many plot elements and characters seem to flow by too quickly. There isn't a lot of time to delve very far into many threads. This gives the film a more superficial feel that should have been solved by lengthening and tightening the focus to give elements at least a typical James Bond film significance and weight. Aspects of the film may also be a bit too cliched for some viewers tastes.
But you probably wouldn't watch Bulletproof Monk expecting a masterpiece. As a wispy fantasy/action film, geared as much towards adolescents as any other age group, Bulletproof Monk is a rewarding way to spend an hour and a half. I'm a fan of Yun-Fat's work, including this film, and I enjoyed both Scott and Jaime King's performances quite a bit. In fact, I liked the film enough to hope for a sequel.
You want fun, this is fun; you want Lawrence of Arabia, rent Lawrence of Arabia.
7/10 I'll be brief.3 years ago
The movie starts with a bang, and ends with a boom, with plenty of pops and kabangs along the way.
You want a movie that's fun, with likable actors, good action, a light plot that moves right along, and more than a few genuine chuckles? This is one of those.
Watching Chow Yun Fat work is fun, whether he's giving life to a substantial, full orbed character such as in Crouching Tiger, or to a more stereotypical one as the Monk with No Name.
Don't confuse the movies, and you'll have fun. As for all the vitriolic, acidic critics... maybe some folks just need to take themselves just a tad less seriously.
Or a few tads.
Mildly entertaining hodge-podge of martial arts and commercialized Buddhism
4/10 I really wanted to like this movie. I generally enjoy Chow Yun Fat in virtually any role, I tend to enjoy martial arts films, and I am a Taoist so I at least sympathize with various forms of Buddhism. Furthermore, I believe that comic book based films are finally coming into their own as commercial cinema. However, Bulletproof Monk, though entertaining at times, never really grabbed me. I was left with the same sort of feeling I got from Tomb Raider, Aliens vs Predator, etc. Though I found Chow Yun Fat's character likable, I frequently found myself asking 'who are these people and why am I supposed to care about them?". There is a certain one-dimensionality to the characters, the script and the portrayals which can not be escaped in this film.3 years ago
Chow Yun Fat has been charged with the protection of a scroll which is endowed with the secret of eternal life for over 60 years. The scroll is sought by a maniacal nazi who inexplicably turns up in Tibet during World War Two and equally improbably leads a small contingent of followers in New York city in contemporary times. Chow Yun Fat, who is in NYC for an unknown reason (probably not the best place to protect an ancient scroll of incredible power and importance), playing an unnamed Tibetan monk is pursued by this militia just as he begins to befriend a protege who he believes might be a prophesied successor in his task of protecting the scroll (Seann William Scott). An uneasy apprenticeship begins...
The script is packed with martial art / Hollywood-Buddhist philosophical cliches, though I have to admit that this film does Buddhism better than many of its competitors. Most of these paradoxes and objects of meditations are unfortunately delivered in matter-of-fact disaffected tones. Similarly, the fight scenes are technically interesting, and convincingly violent, but generally devoid of any emotional content or ferocity. Compare any of these scenes to any performance by Bruce Lee, for example, and you'll see what I mean. Of course, Bruce was not really a traditional Buddhist, not a very ttraditional martial artist.
The cinematography is good. I especially enjoyed seeing so many familiar sights in the world's greatest city, and some of the artistically fantastic if not entirely believable sets. It was also nice to see old friends like Mako. Unfortunately, Seann William Scott's uneven performance only reinforced the frigidity of the film.
Bulletproof makes for a decent light night's entertainment, but little more. Worth seeing for martial arts and action fans.
Fun and entertaining. Don't take it too seriously.
8/10 It was hard to watch this film and not compare some of the wild action/fight scenes with those in the Matrix or its over-hyped sequel. Whilst the scenes in BPM are not as polished or well done as those in the Matrix, they are entertaining enough and the choreography and use of props showed much more promise and imagination than those in the Wachowski Bros. productions (at least in regard to the Matrix Reloaded, anyhow).3 years ago
But this film did not receive the hype that TMR did and, consequently, my expectations of it were lower. As a result, I was not disappointed in BPM as I was with TMR. Sure, its all silliness, but at least it has the humour to go along with that silliness. In short, it doesn't take itself too seriously, and neiither should the audience.
Chow-Yun Fat shows he can play non-serious roles and get away with it, and Sean William Scott shows he can do other parts away from American Pie and its teen comedy clones. But a particular joy to see in this film is the appearance of Mako, whom I haven't seen much of in recent years. He only has a small role in this film, but he steals the show whenever he's on screen.
The kung-fu isn't quite as wild as Crouching Tiger's flying escapades nor is the wire-work quite so obvious. All in all a fun movie that should be watched as it was intended, as sheer escapism.
There are a few bad points. Watch out for the villain at the end. He should get the "worst villain's hairstyle" award for his mullet. That, and the ludicrous torture machine are the lighter negative aspects in an otherwise entertaining movie, and even they somehow just add to the fun. The only really dire moment is "Mr Funktastic's" atrocious British accent/choice of language. There are some things Hollywood will NEVER get right!
Well, I liked it!
5/10 I thought it was charming. I thought it was fun. I enjoyed it a great deal. I liked the characters a lot too (especially the Monk). Now I'm looking for other movies starring Yun-Fat Chow.3 years ago
I must admit that I did find the underground cavern and the mysterious mind-reading device to be rather over-the-top, but that was the only part of the movie I didn't like.
Please keep in mind that this movie _is_ based on a comic book. It's not meant to be Important, World-changing theatre. It's meant to be a fast-paced (it is), interesting (I thought so), fun-to-watch (yes) story.