MGM has released a Special Edition version of ďTHE
Chow Yun Fat is paired up with Sean William Scott, and Scott is also paired up
with love interest/former model Jamie King, in this attempt to mix martial
arts, adventure and comedy. Fat plays a monk assigned the responsibility of
guarding ďThe Scroll of the UltimateĒ, a text with supernatural powers. Of
course(borrowing from ďRaiders of the Lost Ark)the Nazis have been after it
for some time, and the monk must keep ahead of him.
The film jumps to the present, and the monk runs into Scott, playing a
pickpocket with martial arts skills, named Kar. The monk observes Kar using
his martial arts skills as well as a display of bravery, convincing the monk
that he might just be the one prophesized to be his replacement.
Itís obvious that Kar has a good heart but not much in the brain
department. Heís gotten into trouble with a street gang, and is smitten with
Jade,(Jamie King)a member.
Of course, itís predictable almost immediately how things will end
up, and thatís the biggest problem with the film. Thereís really nothing new
All of the fight scenes(there are plenty)seem redundant. Sure, itís
kind of fun to see people flying in the air, but if every scene has the same
basic choreography, substituting one guy for another, it gets dull fast.
The filmís based on a comic book and while the animation background
may have looked impressive on the page, itís less than flattering on screen.
The CGI looks bad, and we mean ďHULKĒ bad!
MGM has preserved the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement.
While it can get pretty grainy in spots, the colors are generally rich and
vibrant. Contrast is fine, however blacks and grays arenít extremely
deep, preventing darker scenes from having the depth of typically superior
MGM releases. Fleshtones appear natural.
MGM has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, and itís surprisingly far
less aggressive than one would expect for an action film. While the
musical score is given prominence through all speakers, gunshots and other
action-related effects are typically subdued. Dialogue is always
intelligible and free from distortion.
MGM has thrown in plenty of extras. There is a deleted
section offering five deleted scenes, all of which are worthwhile! We
actually preferred the alternate opening sequence included herein.
An optional running commentary with the filmís editor is
the deleted scenes, but itís pretty dull.
There are two separate audio commentaries here, one with the
director and producers, and another with the filmís writers. Both try oneís
patience and itís annoying to find that none of them realized any of the