Go ahead and throw logic out the window on this one folks. A mysterious Tibetan monk with no name (Chow Yun-Fat) has spent a lifetime protecting an ancient document known as the Scroll of the Ultimate--a parchment that will yield unlimited power to anyone who reads it. After running around the globe for 60 years the Monk knows it's time to hang up his robes and find a new guardian but spotting a successor isn't easy in the hustle bustle of the 21st century where Tibetan traditions and rituals are almost non-existent. Maybe the next protector should be the crafty rebellious pickpocket Kar (Seann William Scott) who learned martial arts from watching kung-fu movies; after all Kar helps the Monk escape from the scroll's most avid pursuer Strucker (Karel Roden) a sadistic old Nazi who wants to use the its power to rid the planet of inferior races. Or maybe the Monk's successor is the elusive but beautiful bad girl Jade (James King) whose skills are numerous and who seems to pop up to help Kar whenever he gets in a jam. Whomever the Monk eventually chooses they must first unite to battle the ultimate enemy--and keep the scroll safe.
If it weren't for Yun-Fat Bulletproof Monk would be pretty hopeless. The charismatic actor finds a nice balance no matter what he does and in this case he resists the obvious temptation to play the Monk as a fish out of water in the big city. Since he's long been one of Chinese cinema's most well-known action heroes he's definitely in his element in Monk standing on top of a car with guns blazing and the Zen master persona he discovered in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon serves him well here too. The script requires him to spout off fortune-cookie mumbo jumbo but he manages to do it without sounding ridiculous. The petite King actually holds her own as the brawny-yet-brainy tough chick but the wisecracking Scott is completely out of his element for the first time in his career. He handles the little comedic tidbits well but in no way is it possible to believe that the "Dude" who couldn't find his car and the jackass who drank someone else's bodily fluids in American Pie can be a martial arts hero who saves the planet. It just isn't going to happen.
Bulletproof Monk relies on the ghosts of movies past including Crouching Tiger and the 1986 Eddie Murphy stinker The Golden Child for its plot which results in a film that's chock full of cliches especially the evil Nazi who has spent 60 years chasing after the scroll using his tow-headed granddaughter whose cover is an organization for human rights to do the dirty work. A few bright moments with Yun-Fat coupled with director Paul Hunter's good use of fast-paced martial arts action make the rest of this unimaginative movie somewhat palatable--even novices Williams and King look good doing the moves--but all in all Bulletproof Monk is shooting blanks.
Ozzy Osbourne's pink-haired, 17-year-old daughter Kelly will sing on stage for the first time at the MTV Movie Awards, The Associated Press reports. Kelly will sing her cover version of Madonna's 1986 hit "Papa Don't Preach," which she recorded with members of Incubus for The Osbourne Family Album, due out June 11. The awards show, which will be hosted by Jack Black and Sarah Michelle Gellar, will take place Saturday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and will air on MTV June 6.
Malcolm in the Middle's Jane Kaczmarek is expecting a third child with her husband, Brad Whitford. The baby is due in November. According to the AP, the couple is expected to return to their respective television shows in the fall. Whitford plays Deputy White House Chief of Staff Joshua Lyman on NBC's The West Wing.
The woman who claims she was raped by Celine Dion's husband, René Angelil, was released without bail from jail after she agreed to repay more than $550,000 to a Las Vegas casino, the AP reports. Yun Kyeong Kwon Sung, a Pasadena, Calif., resident, was accused of signing four markers promising to pay the casino in a case in 2001.
DreamWorks Pictures is developing a fully animated, computer-generated feature based on writers Cyrus Voris and Ethan Reiff's original pitch, Master P: Kung Fu Panda. The story is about a gang of snow leopard bandits that come down from the highlands to invade a bamboo jungle in China, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Kevin Spacey is developing a remake of the Norwegian drama Elling, about two misfits who become friends after a two-year stint in a state home, Variety reports. The original film was nominated for the foreign-language Oscar this year. Spacey does not plan to star in the English-language remake.
Stephen Chiau, who starred in and directed the Asian blockbuster Shaolin Soccer, is planning an action/comedy for the international market. Chiau told Reuters in a recent interview that the film would be based on a story that happened in Hong Kong in the 1940s and '50s and that a script was in the works.
John Leguizamo will make his directorial debut with the HBO drama Infamous, about a young Latino boxer, Variety reports. Leguizamo will co-direct the film with Enrique Shadyac, as well as executive produce and star in the pic. Shooting begins in Gotham Aug. 5.
Actor/comedian Jamie Foxx will star as former Washington Mayor Marion Barry in the HBO biopic Livin' for the City: The Marion Barry Story. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the pic will be executive produced by Chris Rock, who poked fun at Barry in his 1996 HBO stand-up special Bring the Pain.
Following the abrupt departure of longtime chief Michael Greene last month, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which organizes the Grammys, is setting up a committee to find a new president, Variety reports. Jive Records West Coast chief Neil Portnow is rumored to be a frontrunner for the position.
California rockers Alien Ant Farm have cut short their European tour and canceled all shows in the United States through September following a bus crash last week in Spain in which their driver was killed, the AP reports. Frontman Dryden Mitchell suffered a broken vertebra in the accident, while guitarist Terry Corso broke his ankle.