Bulletproof Monk (2003)

bulletproof_monk_ver2I never read an issue of the actual comic this was based on, but judging by this often times ridiculous and stupid piece of popcorn numb skullery, the comic can’t be that good. This is the type of stuff that would appeal to a fourteen year old boy, the type of film that unfortunately plays more like a “Power Rangers” episode than an actual comic book movie with an awful fight sequence in the opening amidst a backdrop of a bad CGI forest in which Chow Yun Fat, our hero, and his master fight along a bridge as a young boy looks on. The young boy, by the way, is shown quite often, but disappears later on in the movie to play no role whatsoever, but I digress. This is one of those films with one of those odd realities in which everyone, everyone knows Kung Fu! Even the German soldier villains. I don’t know it. I can handle myself well, but I don’t know kung fu, but alas, if I lived in this reality I’d know it automatically. If only, eh?

The choreography by the way stinks on ice (I dare you to point that reference out) with a lot of stiff martial arts work, choppy editing to accommodate it, and a lot of really bad hitting and kicking. A large portion of the fights are done with wires which make it extra boring to watch with it’s over done wire-fu. This is a reality where monks appear from nowhere and where our run of the mill German soldiers/purists wreak havoc upon our heroes. Is this the best they could come up with? German soldiers? Talk about “old reliable”. Need a hero outfit, go with leather, need a villain go with the Nazis or Germans. It’s true. So, we witness our second hero, Kar, enter the scene. We don’t learn his name until thirty minutes into the movie and he picks pockets. He has moosed hair, a kick ass jacket, nice clothing, but he picks pockets?

We later learn he may be the “chosen one” or the “one who has been prophesized” or some crap like that, and we see why, he picks pockets and has street smarts. Bully for him! “Bulletproof Monk” doesn’t make a lick of sense, and it doesn’t seem like it’s trying to throughout its stupid plot which is, not surprisingly, filled with plot holes galore. Women shield your eyes. He is captured by a nameless gang led by a walking British cliché, and then they want to kill him, then they circle him for a while, then he gets hit a bit by their smallest member, then they never attack him because of his convenient fancy stick work, and then they just leave him alone in their turf he’s trespassing on, an issue that put him in hot water with them in the first place? If they leave him be, then what the hell is point of that whole fight scene anyway?

And if they live in a subway, how can they afford strobe lights and a stereo and booze, and fur coats? Then, just as a back story, we learn Kar isn’t homeless, he just works in a movie theater. Well, if he works in a movie theater, and lives in a movie theater, why does he steal? He is also a very skilled martial artist who learned everything he did by a movie? The resident love interest, “Bad Girl” (Jaimie King), or Jade, is another vapid character in a series of them in this movie. King approaches the movie with a husky slithery sexy voice and an attempted mysterious look that never works. She’s just boring here. Hot but boring. And far-fetched as a heroine who one minute is a gang member, then the next is a socialite living in a mansion; whatever.

And then there are the villains who are, as I mentioned, your usual run of the mill German Nazi soldiers/secret organization who always knows how to track down our heroes without computers (How did those people find where Kar lived?), and always come at the right time, but somehow nobody notices them. There’s this really ridiculous scene in which Kar and the monk fight in a warehouse and a helicopter appears from nowhere and begins shooting at them. Now how is it that no one below notices a helicopter shooting down an abandoned warehouse in the middle of a city? Regardless of how much I analyze it, this is bad. Awful, and nothing could have saved it. I wonder how the comic reads. Comic or not, this is one piece of derivative, hokey, and really stupid action drivel with over used wire-fu, plot holes galore, vapid characters, cheesy dialogue and not a brain in its head.