Read on, but take this review with a grain of salt. I loved the movie, but I can’t in good conscience give the movie a high rating on our scale.
A monk with no name has a scroll. Nazis want the scroll. He wants to give it to a thief, who doesn’t really want it,
until they find out that he’s the “prophesied” one. His girlfriend also turns out to fulfill the same prophesies.
Cast, Crew, and Other Info
Yun-Fat Chow….Monk With No Name
Seann William Scott….Kar
James King (IV)….Jade/Bad Girl (as Jamie King)
Karel Roden (I)….Strucker
Chow Yun Fat’s bit in Sean Coughmumblemumble Scott’s room. It was very reminiscent of watching Luke and Yoda (and I’m not
a Star Wars fanatic either). Gave me a lot of hope for the movie.
Any scene with the Nazis.
Okay, I’m truly sorry to do this, because this is not something this movie should lose points on. On the other hand, I’d
like to point out that “wandering monk with a sacred obligation picks least likely candidate to succeed him” has been
done to death. Loveable thieves have been done to death. Evil Nazis who just can’t seem to let go have been…you get the
idea. On the other hand, the monk has never been quite this easygoing – and like I said, this is NOT where I want to
start hacking this movie. As a result, originality gets 2 out of 6
The effects were probably the biggest strength of this movie. Admittedly, the wire fighting was pretty unbelievable in places,
and that’s fine – in the sense that people can’t really do that sort of thing, but there were a lot of places where it just
seemeed “faked”. It dragged you out of the movie just enough for me to give effects a 5 out of 6.
The story…well, I’d really rather not go there. I’d like to point out at this moment in the review that I really
quite enjoyed the movie. There was, however, very little story to speak of. Pretty simple – Monk wanders, has scroll,
after 60 years it’s time to pass it on. Finds unlikely kid who fulfills all sorts of prophecies, tries to keep the
scroll out of the hands of psycho-uber-nazis, and everything works out more or less exactly the way you expect it to.
Story gets a 3 out of 6.
The acting was surprisingly good – especially on the part of Mr. Scott (Karr). He’s definitely not just a one note
actor. He may not have a LOT of range, but at least enough range to give him a decent career. Chow Yun Fat gave one
of the most enjoyable screen experiences I’ve had in a long time. Every time he left the screen I was disappointed – and I’m
not particularly well versed with his work. The “bad guys”, however, felt like they’d been cast three days beforehand
and hadn’t been given any time to rehearse. Any time they brought in some conflict to “advance the plot” as it were I just
groaned. I’d have been much happier if they entire movie had just been Fat teaching Scott and grooming him to take over the
position. Fortunately, most of the movie is precisely that. Acting gets a 4 out of 6.
My emotional response was mostly in the vein of laughter. There was little to no sense of suspense throughout the movie,
as it was pretty obvious from the beginning exactly how it was going to end. They threw in a few “twists” to try and give
the characters more depth – but even that fell flat. No surprises, and nothing to become attached to. For the humor, however,
I’m willing to give the emotional response a 3 out of 6.
I’m disappointed to have to give this a low score as well. The production was, in most places, very good. There were, however,
a few places where the film simply looked unfinished. It was extremely jarring and threw me out of the movie in ways even
unrehearsed Nazis couldn’t do. I give the production a 3 out of 6.
Overall, I have to say I really did enjoy the movie. Watching Chow Yun Fat talk about how an enlightened man would offer a
weary traveller hospitality, rest, and conversation over a nice bowl of cocoa puffs was one of the highlights of my evening.
On the other hand, watching the bad guy have a half dozen monks strapped into his torture device with high tech fancy screens
that read out brain wave patterns into written language REALLY didn’t sit well with me. Overall, I give the movie 4 out
In Total, Bulletproof Monk gets a 24 out of 42. This low score doesn’t really reflect how I felt about the movie once
I walked out of the theater. If I had to give it a rating on a scale of 1 to 10, it would get something more akin to a
7, rather than the lower number it was given here.