Bulletproof Monk

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -1 1/2

In this kung-fu action film, an ageless and nameless Tibetan Buddhist monk (Chow Yun-Fat) has guarded a scroll containing the secret of ultimate power for 60 years. Armed with super-human reflexes, masterful kung fu and a propensity for defying gravity, the bulletproof monk now seeks a replacement for himself. When he discovers the secret compassion of Kar (Seann William Scott), a deadbeat pickpocket and self-trained street fighter, the monk begins to wonder if he may have found a worthy trainee. The monk befriends Kar, watching to see if he fulfills prophecies as they join forces to battle the dark powers who pursue the secrets of the scroll. Meanwhile, Kar falls for the beautiful and tough Jade (Jamie King) who proves to be a valuable asset in their battles.

Although filled with constant violence, Bulletproof Monks unrealistic fight scenes, reminiscent of a comic book or video game, are so obviously choreographed that their affect on the viewer is minimal. The film espouses a Buddhist worldview. The distinctly Buddhist terms enlightenment and path as well as the notion that humans are able to manipulate the natural world with their minds or beliefs appear repeatedly. The offensive language in the film seals its fate. While not as bad as many films, it is worse than most in its genre. To its credit, Bulletproof Monk carries an element of redemption in its plot. The monk befriends and trains the thieving Kar and slowly begins to reform his ways by teaching him to do good and by having faith in him at crucial moments. All in all, this film has some entertainment to offer to martial-arts fans but is unacceptable due primarily to language and violence.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: many (16) times mild 8, moderate 8.

Obscene Language: several (9) times S-word 7, other 2.

Profanity: once regular (GD 1).

Violence: many times moderate (almost continuous unrealistic fight scenes, fist fights, gun fights, firing squad kills monks, man falls from building).

Sex: none.

Nudity: none.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: few times mild (woman tells man that she is aroused, woman searches male prisoner and makes suggestive comments).

Drugs: few times mild (party scene with alcohol use).

Other: persistent references to Buddhism, enlightenment and eastern philosophy; elements of eastern mysticism; claims that a persons belief can change truth/reality; depiction of Nazis and race-supremist philosophy; depiction of torture; character picks pockets).

Running Time: 103 minutes.
Intended Audience: teens and adults.

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