Bulletproof Monk Paul Hunter

Bulletproof Monk Paul Hunter
Based on the short-lived comic book, Bulletproof Monk had the potential to be a mildly-entertaining film, but fails horribly. Chow Yun-Fat lowers his standards to star as an ageless monk with no name that must protect an ancient scroll that has given him superhero-like reflexes, while spending the last 60 years of his life in search of a potential to carry on the legacy. Apparently the monk has saved children from burning houses and other heroic feats in the meantime, but we don't get to see any of this and are told of these events through newspaper clippings. Shame, for that would have been one small element that might have made us care about Yun-Fat's character, or anyone in this yawn-producing action fluff. The monk makes his way to "America" (it's Toronto — there's the CN Tower) to find Kar, a street thief who has learned all his martial art skills through endless amounts of kung-fu flicks. Throw in a cliché Nazi enemy and a tough-as-nails female counterpart to Kar and we have ourselves a dreadful motion picture. In an unfair world where classic films have no DVD extras to offer us, Bulletproof Monk is undeservingly packed with bonus goodies. Through five featurettes we get to hear about first-time director Paul Hunter's vision of colour sequences to set moods for the type of adventure that's being played out on screen — a little ambitious for someone who comes from a music video background. The deleted scenes include a supposed love interest for the Monk back home, as well as far more input from the underground subway gang we see near the beginning, which are otherwise useless to the plot. The alternate ending is extremely dull, hence the reason for a more "explosive" finale, but again includes the subway gang lending their strength to defeat the Nazi brainwashing scheme. It's a shame that such a stinker gets so much extra attention. Extras: separate audio commentaries from the director, producers and writers; five behind-the-scenes featurettes; deleted scenes; alternate ending; photo gallery. (MGM)