Yun-Fat, Seann William Scott, Jamie (aka James) King
by: Paul Hunter
Written by: Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris
Produced by: Charles Roven, Terence Chang, John Woo
60 years, a mysterious monk with no name (though we
know him as Chow Yun-Fat) has stalked the planet to
protect an ancient scroll. As it happens, the scroll
holds the key to unlimited power. Now the Monk must
look for a new scrollkeeper. Kar (Seann William Scott)
is an unlikely candidate, a streetwise young man who
only cares about himself. But when he inadvertently
saves the Bulletproof Monk from capture, the two become
partners in a scheme to save the world from the scroll's
most avid pursuer. The Monk, Kar and a sexy Russian
mob princess called Bad Girl must struggle to find,
face and fight the ultimate enemy.
William Scott puts the monkish moves on Jamie King
NAZIS PICK ON THE WONG GUY IN MODERN DAY NEW YORK MARTIAL
If your idea of a great Friday night popcorn movie is to switch
your brain into neutral and watch the bad guys get their butts
kicked, chopped and hacked for a couple of hours, then Bulletproof
Monk answers all your prayers.
You want more? Then there's a couple of babes with leather-clad
dominatrix issues thrown in for that extra quota of good clean
laddish fun. While the gals are catered for by the crooked
grinning charms of Seann William Scott as the modern day fun
loving crim with a heart of gold.
Ever since Bruce Lee first Kung Fooed his way across western
attention spans with a bullet there's been an steady stream
of Hong Kong martial arts actors who've morphed into Hollywood
action stars. Yun-Fat Chow is certainly one of the classiest
with a dignified screen presence that belies his electrifying
martial arts moves.
Here he plays the eponymously titled Monk, living high up
in the Himalayas. Luckily for the plot, he's also next in
the line of chosen chaps entrusted with guarding scared scrolls
(or some such hokum) containing the secrets to eternal life,
the universe and everything. Then naturally the Nazis arrive
- well it is 1943. With one leap (literally he leaps from
a 15,000 foot mountain) he's free and escapes with the key
scroll from the evil SS Colonel.
Cue 2003 and essentially an 'Indiana Wong and the Raiders
of the Lost Scroll' ding-dong ensues around New York City.
Fortunately the monk hasn't aged one bit, (it's the scrolls)
but those pesky Nazis are still on his tail. Only this time
he has the dubious help of Seann William Scott who has made
himself into a martial arts master by watching endless reruns
of - yes you guessed it, Bruce Lee movies.
Scott clearly doesn't take any of this seriously - and he's
a gifted comic actor who you may remember as the idiotic Stifler
from the two American Pies. So while 'Bulletproof' is not
exactly tongue-in-cheek, it also doesn't take itself reverentially
like Yun Fat's 'Crouching Dragon' masterwork.
Not that the plot matters in any way. Sure there's tons of
violence, but it's of the cartoon variety hence the 12A certificate.
And the stunts are excellently choreographed by some really
top notch Hong Kong fly-by-wire guys. The final rooftop confrontation
between good and evil is a doozy - and there's a fabbo stunt
on a Helicopter that'll give you vertigo.
Now to my fave bit in a popcorn movie - the babe quotient.
Model slash actor Jamie King is certainly a looker in a throwaway
role. Of course, she's the love interest to Seann and when
it comes to hand to foot combat she more than matches all
the moves he can throw. Luckily for us boys, she finally ends
up in the cat-fight from hell with evil leather-clad Brit
Ice Queen played by blondie Victoria Smurfitt. There are no
wet T-Shirts, but it sure is fun while it lasts.
And that's the point to movies like Bulletproof - it moves
along at a cracking pace. Then it's all over. Then it's Monday
morning and back to the grind. Enjoy.