I saw the ads for Bulletproof Monk back in April and it looked pretty good at the time — Chow Yun-Fat, dual pistols, what’s not to like? Its PG-13 rating should have been my first warning, but Mike and I decided to add it to our Netflix queue.
I was aware that it got 39/100 at Metacritic, but there have been times in the past when Metacritic has been off. But, it wasn’t off this time — we watched it over the weekend, and Bulletproof Monk just wasn’t what I was hoping it’d be.
In short, every good scene is encompassed by the trailer. And, I don’t just mean “every scene” loosely — yeah, some movies put most of their good scenes into the trailer, but this one really had all the good scenes in the trailer. And, the non-trailer scenes were just not up to that level.
One gripe I have with the flick is that the trailer prominently shows Chow atop a car with guns in both hands (a good sign, or so you’d think). However, the trailer cuts out the following part of the scene: Chow uses the guns only to shoot the weapons out of the hands of the bad guys. And, that’s the only scene where the main characters even hold guns — according to the making-of featurette, the producers did that on purpose for the “sake of the children” in the audience.
And, in general, the PG-13 rating just gets in the way. In one scene in particular, a Nazi general executes several monks in a firing squad (this happens in the first ten minutes, so this doesn’t spoil anything). However, the view is framed so that you only see the shots being fired followed by the sounds of the monks taking the hit — lame.
It looks like the trailer got the best of me this time. Is this worth buying? Nope. Is it worth renting? Well, only if you really like Seann William Scott — and even then, only maybe.