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Bullet Proof Monk
Starring Chow Yun Fat,
Directed by: Paul Hunter
Rated: PG-13



Bullet Proof Monk is all about the action. I say that with a bit of sadness because the story is just oh-so-done.

You probably know Chew Sum Fat (couldn't resist) of course I mean Chow Yun-Fat, aka Notorious CYF, from his Hidden Dragon Crouching Tiger phenomenon a few years ago, or as a recurring double gunned villain in John Woo films, but in Hong Kong this man walks quietly and carries a big wallet so I'm guessing he could have done a lot better script-wise here.

In Bullet Proof they decided to focus 99 percent on the action - computer generated action - and use stock dialog from the UCLA extension film school's "Buddy Film with a Master and Disciple in the Making 101. " That tried and true A-Team obvious plot where the "wise mystic one" just can not believe the "young obnoxious one" before him is the "chosen one" of those who came before him. There's lots of fortune cookie style philosophy stirred into the wok of mediocre that really makes ya recheck for the brightly lit exit signs within the theater. Poor Chowie.

Story goes...the Monk With No Name (Chow Yun-Fat) has been guarding the ancient scrolls that control the destiny of mankind for over 45 years from an evil nazi (Karel Rodin) hell bent on world domination and eternal youth (yawn). Think Indiana Jones Asian style.

While fleeing from the evil nazi's hoodlum's on the streets of modern day New York, he is robbed by smooth pickpocket Kar (Seann William Scott). When Monk follows Kar to a rumble of sorts the two (thanks to plot motion) end up as cohorts. The monk starts to see things about Kar that lead him to believe Kar is his chosen successor. The next guard of the scrolls. The next Monk With No Name - and no life...

Kar and Monk (not to be confused with Mork) meet up with Jade (Jamie King). She's a tough chickbabe that has a kind of super hero day she's a square-o styled activist for the rights of the exploited. By night jade sports black on black with black hangs with a Mad Max like gang that dwells beneath the city and idles away the hours with robberies and street fights...yes it's stupid but the whole movie's stupid so just go with it.

When the evil Nazi finally gets control of the scroll the odd trio must lay down some highly orchestrated and oddly coordinated kick ass, all of which is, naturally, dolloped with the slo mo twisty CGI all over the place. What ever happened to the real martial artists? Argh.

Will the unlikely trio save the world? What do you think...I mean really.

Oh, I admit Chow Yun-Fat or should I say, Chow YUM Full-fat is a handsome order of moo shu manbeef, but here? He's just the big kinda goofy wise monk guy; enhanced by the wonderful world of CGI every two seconds - natch. It's very annoying actually.

And this obnoxious upstart from the American Pies and Dude fame, Seann William Scott (even if he's undecided on a friggitini name...) is quite a slab of "Grade A Mansteak Patty"...though when he smiles I swear he looks as if he's about to morph into The Werewolf. Hey, it's about time for a remake of "I Was a Teenage Werewolf?" Remember Willard was a great success with its kismetal casting...but I digress...for those into tight-tee-buff studly "Hollywood Smile" types -like the shallow side of me - Seann alone is worth the ten buck viewing fee. And sure BPM's dialog will have you snorffing down concession industrials like there's no tomorrow but hot is hot and hot is better on a sixty foot screen!

My mother always says, "If you have nothing nice to say blame the director." Here I am. This pretty lass, Jamie King, was lame-o-rama. She was so pivotal yet given the emotional range of a gnat. No way is it the actor here folks. This reeks of director's (erroneous) vision of a sultry chickbabe with attitude. He should have watched Charlie's Angels and studied Drew Barrymore on and off the screen. Dweeb.

You dig special effects? See this but be ready for generic plot and way over the top cheeseball comedy quips. For martial art fans? BPM is not old school by any means. For those not so keen on yet more non-stop action stitched loosely with unlikely partners and forced sexual tention accented with corny dialog that actually seems to thump when it finishes? Wait for the rental.

Snack recommendation: Cocopuffs© cereal


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