Thursday, April 10, 2003

Reduced fat

Movie: Bulletproof Monk

Posted on Thu, Apr 10, 2003 at 4:00 AM

**1/2
Our Rating: 2.50

A hackneyed comic-book adaptation made bearable by the still sparkling charm of Chow Yun-Fat, director Paul Hunter's "Bulletproof Monk" is a popcorn actioner burdened with too much plot. In 1943, a Tibetan monk with no name (Chow) becomes the protector of a scared Buddhist scroll with super-über-powers, when a nefarious Nazi (Karel Rodan) with world-domination aspirations--as if there were any other kind of Nazi--descends upon the monk's hamlet, kills everybody, and sets the proverbial ball in motion. Sixty years later in New York, the Nazi is older and a lot more bitter, but the monk, kept young by the scroll, is as fresh-faced as a 47-year-old actor can be. And he has to find his scroll-guarding successor. Enter Kar (Seann William Scott), a thief with a bad attitude but a good heart, and mysterious gal Jade (Jamie King), who trade flirtatious punches while aiding and abetting the monk against the aged ex-Nazi and his band of hired goons. Unfortunately, "Monk" spends more time playing cutesy with Kar and Jade's cheeky romance than on the flying people-fu, stalling a movie that takes forever to reach its inevitable heroic end.

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