The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
Let us first consider the Scroll of the Ultimate. "Whoever reads it aloud in its entirely," an ancient monk explains to his young acolyte, "will gain the power to control the world." It is Tibet in 1943. The Nazis are there to capture the Scroll of the Ultimate. We recall from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" that the Third Reich was also trying to capture the Ark of the Covenant, perhaps so that Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's favorite filmmaker, could direct "The Scroll of the Ultimate vs. the Ark of the Covenant," a title I have just registered with the Writers' Guild.
The young acolyte accepts responsibility for the Scroll, and renounces his name, becoming The Monk With No Name, a name Clint Eastwood should have registered with the Writers' Guild. No sooner does the Monk (Chow Yun-Fat) take possession than the sky churns with sensational visual effects, high winds blow, and the Nazis attack the temple. The Monk escapes by jumping off a high cliff, after first taking a Nazi bullet that hits him right in the Scroll. He survives the jump, as he later explains, because gravity exists only if you think it does.
Because he walks around on the ground a lot, apparently he thinks it does, most of the time. The knack is to learn how to turn your belief on and off. Sixty years later, which is how long any one monk can guard the Scroll, the Monk is in New York City when he happens upon a pickpocket named Kar (Seann William Scott). Kar is working the subway, and has indeed just picked the Scroll from the Monk's briefcase, when he is forced into the subterranean lair of a gang of young toughs who look as dangerous as the crowd in a leather bar on date night. This gang is led by Mr. Funktastic (Patrick Hagarty), who has his name tattooed across his chest, and also includes the beautiful Bad Girl (Jaime King), who turns out to be a good girl. Kar engages in a violent martial arts struggle with the gang for a long time, after which they stop, because the scene is over, and Mr. Funktastic issues a dire warning should Kar ever stray their way again.
Like he wants to hang out down there in the subterranean lair.