Bulletproof Monk is another martial-arts film starring Yun-Fat Chow (also referred to as Chow Yun-Fat), one of the more successful Chinese action stars. Following in the footsteps of Jackie Chan, Yun-Fat has parlayed a couple of cross-over roles into larger-budget films based in the US with more elaborate special effects, but has kept the campy martial-arts style that made him popular in many of these films in the past.
Bulletproof Monk is just one of these films. A bit campy, lots of martial arts, doesn't take itself too seriously, and is quite a lot of fun.
About this time, you're wondering if I ever pan a film. The answer to that is complicated. I don't pass judgement on films, per se, I merely suggest how I felt about them and try to provide my friends and readers with hints as to whether they should fork over $8 to go see the film in the theater or not.
This one is a definite maybe. I thoroughly enjoyed it, for what it was, but if you only see 4 or 5 films a year, check it out when it comes to video. Considering the lack of explicit sex, violence, and gore, you could probably even wait for it to come to network TV, since it will unlikely be cut to make it past the self-sensoring of the networks.
But, if you like to see these kinds of films, this one was fun. The buddy chemistry worked with all three of the main characters. The supporting characters were not overdone, but make sense, and the plot was consistent.
Had it not been for a way-overblown badguy lair and a torture device that was unnecessarily complex, the film would have had almost no flaws.
Basically, think of it as a less-funny, more martial-artsy Golden Child, without the kid and with less nudity.