Bulletproof Monk

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Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger

Starring: Chow Yun-Fat, Seann William-Scott, Jamie King, Victoria Smurfit
Director: Paul Hunter

The Monk (Chow Yun-Fat) is appointed guardian of an ancient Chinese scroll which holds the key to unlimited power. A new guardian is chosen every sixty years and when the power of the scroll passes to the new recipient the old one, who until that moment has not aged, takes a much-needed rest. This monk’s predecessor however rapidly gets killed off by Struker (Karel Roden) a power hungry Nazi who wants the scroll for himself.

Sixty years later and Struker is still after the scroll and still relentlessly pursuing the Monk. The Monk knows it’s time to pass on the scroll and it’s power to a new protector and the signs predicted by the prophecies seem to point to an unlikely candidate – a streetwise pickpocket, Kar (Seann William Scott).

Kar and the Monk soon hook up together constantly pursued by the bad guys which paves the way for plenty of action sequences – martial arts style with guns blazing. They also run into a hot looking Jade (Jaime King) who has a few secrets of her own as well as being the love interest for Kar.

Interestingly BULLETPROOF MONK is based on a comic although it has been heavily reworked for the big screen which gives us yet another example of the amount of original ideas and talent that exist in the comic and graphic novel industry.

As a film you don’t need an IQ of a million to understand the plot but it is an excellent piece of pure escapism and entertainment. Seann William Scott may be better known for his AMERICAN PIE and ROAD TRIP roles but he fits in here ideally as the cheeky, tough guy. Chow Yun-Fat also expands his repertoire with a relatively light performance as opposed to the dark, serious character you might expect.

Add Jaime King to the mix for glamour and throw in plenty of good humour and that pretty much sums up BULLETPROOF MONK. Watch out for the Mr Funktastic (Marcus Jean Pirae) character with a very authentic English Cockney accent for an especially good laugh. You would really have to be a very pompous film snob not to enjoy what is intended to be a purely fun action-adventure extravaganza.

5 out of 6 stars