Bulletproof Monk (2003)

(In theaters, April 2003) Kung-fu is cool. Ancient secrets on scrolls are cool. Chow Yun-Fat is the king of cool. Sean William Scott can be cool. Jamie King will be cool one day, once she acquires a distinct personality and starts playing off her resemblance to Catherine Zeta-Jones. Nazis are cool, and gorgeous blonde Nazi psycho bitches are even cooler. Why, then, is Bulletproof Monk so uncool? Maybe it’s the lazy direction. Maybe it’s the uneven script which neutralizes every cool thing with an uncool things seconds later. Hey, if you can’t even use a mega-über-cool character name like “Mister Funktastic” properly, you’re just not trying. Bulletproof Monk barely distinguishes itself in the “let’s pair an Asian cinema star with a hip Hollywood young thing” sub-genre that has become so tiresome in recent years. Rather than exploit Hong Kong cinema stars’ innate charm, they try to shoehorn them in yet another Hollywood formula and the result is generalized boredom. Bulletproof Monk has a few worthwhile moments, but frankly… it’s as if the filmmakers didn’t even care. So neither will we.

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