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Chow Yun-Fat, Seann William Scott, Jamie (aka James) King

Directed by: Paul Hunter
Written by: Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris
Produced by: Charles Roven, Terence Chang, John Woo

US: 16/04/03
UK: 18/04/03

For 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.

13 April/Toronto Sun: Martial parts - We get the lowdown from Chow Yun-Fat
9 April/Sci-Fi Wire: Chow Saves Bulletproof Scott
9 April/Sci-Fi Wire: King Puts Finger On Monk

Atlanta Journal/Chicago Sun-Times
Cincinnati Enquirer/LA Times
New York Post/New York Times
USA Today/Washington Post
E! Online/Reel Reviews
Seattle Post/Miai Herald
San Francisco Chronicle/Austin 360

Ebert & Roeper
Dave Reviews Out Loud

Seann William Scott puts the monkish moves on Jamie King

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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.

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