Bulletproof Monk

Bulletproof Monk is a 2003 martial arts comedy fantasy film starring Chow Yun-Fat, Seann William Scott and Jaime King. The film was directed by Paul Hunter. It is loosely based on the comic book by Michael Avon Oeming.

The film was shot in Toronto, Ontario, and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


The storyline opens in Tibet in the year 1943, wherein one of its protagonists, a Tibetan monk, is informed that he has fulfilled the prophecies made of him, wherein he has fought an army of enemies while a flock of cranes circled overhead; fought for love at the palace of Jade; saved his brothers whom he did not know; and forsaken his name. He is then entrusted by his master with the protection of a Scroll which contains knowledge by which the reader becomes the most powerful of living things; a protection that will keep him youthful and immunize him to injury until, at the close of 60 years, he passes the knowledge to an heir. The master, who has formerly been the guardian of this Scroll, is killed by soldiers of the Nazi Party shortly after the transfer. His pupil, the now nameless Monk, escapes despite the Nazi commander's expectations.

60 years later, a young pickpocket named Kar (Seann William Scott) robs a police officer in a subway station. He is arrested, but frees himself and chains the police officer, only to flee some of the latter's colleagues. Above in the street, the Monk is reading a newspaper when he notices several men attempting to capture him. The Monk attempts to escape by running into the subway, where he and Kar collide, causing a young girl to fall into the path of an oncoming train. Kar and the Monk rescue the girl, whereupon the three escape, leaving Kar's bag of stolen goods in the station.

Having escaped, the Monk and Kar introduce themselves to each other, whereupon Kar steals the Scroll from the Monk and runs away. Thereafter, wherever Kar goes he is chased by the Monk, who suspects that Kar may be a suitable successor as guardian of the Scroll. When fighting in the street against a minor crime-lord called Mister Funktastic (Marcus Jean Pirae), Kar meets a woman named Jade, with whom he falls in love. The Monk then follows Kar home and watches him at home practicing Kung-fu by watching Chinese martial arts movies. They meet again during the next day and are conversing when Jade walks up to them and asks Kar to return her necklace, which he had apparently stolen on purpose to return so as to earn her esteem. She is interrupted by the mercenaries chasing the Monk, whose quarry flees with Kar in his company.

The Monk and Kar escape by hiding beneath an Asian laundromat, where are several monks of the lead character's order. The Monk then takes refuge in a nearby building wherein the Monk shows Kar several techniques of fighting. They are attacked and the Scroll is taken to a crime lord named Strucker, who desires to use its power as a means of world domination. Upon reading the Scroll, Strucker finds that it contains a recipe for noodle soup, whereas it is later revealed that the true secret of power is marked on the Monk's torso. The Monk and Kar return home, to find that their friend Mr. Kojima has been murdered by Strucker's granddaughter Nina. They flee to the Asian laundromat but are betrayed by an ambitious monk who desires the power conferred by the scroll, but is instead taken to Strucker's center of operation and tortured.

The Monk and Kar seek the help of Jade, whom they learn is the daughter of a currently imprisoned Russian crime lord. Their meeting is interrupted by Nina, who has Jade and Kar beaten and the Monk captured. Later, Jade and Kar inflitrate Strucker's headquarters, where Strucker has regained his youth by reading the text of the Scroll, but is unable to obtain the content of the last line, which is written nowhere and present only in the Monk's memory. Strucker attempts to scan the Monk's brain, but is prevented by Kar and Jade. During the resulting fight, Nina is killed and Strucker thrown onto electric cables, whence he is preserved from death by the Scroll's power.

Jade having freed the other monks, the protagonist Monk transfers what is revealed to be only part of the Scroll's content, and the task of protecting it for 60 years, to Kar. When Strucker attempts to kill Kar, but is killed himself, it is revealed that Jade has also received a part of the Scroll and shares with him the task of protecting it and all the effects thereof. The Monk then tells them that they both passed the three prophecies and the final test. The next day, the now aged Monk meets Kar and Jade, to whom he reveals the final line of the Scroll and whom he now deems inseperable. He then departs, lighthearted.



The film received mostly negative reviews from film critics, who complained that the fight scenes were not as well choreographed or directed as those in similar movies such as The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and also that the alternating comedic and action scenes were jarring . The movie grossed about $23.4 million domestically, far below the film production budget of $52 million .


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