Rumble in the Bronx
Director: Stanley Tong
Stars: Jackie Chan, Anita Mui, Bill Tung, Francoise Yip
A good-natured guy from Hong Kong named Keung (Chan -- gasp! He's not named "Jackie" in this movie) comes to the Bronx to help out his Uncle Bill (Tung) who is selling his grocery store to a naïve businesswoman, Elaine (Mui). One day, while trying to stop local gang members from shoplifting, Keung pisses the gang off and they come back for revenge, even more so when Nancy (Yip), the gang leader's girlfriend, begins falling for Keung. Things get messy when Keung and the gang get caught up in a diamonds deal gone wrong and have to deal with an international crime syndicate known as White Tiger.
This movie, on the surface, has many things going wrong for it. First off, since it was actually filmed in Vancouver, Rumble just looks plain silly to begin with (when was the last time you saw mountains in New York City?). The multi-racial gang is a joke and the stereotypes (the Native American going around with pigtails and a frayed leather jacket, the loud Italian, etc.) might be offensive to some. The plot is fairly weak, and the ending is just plain horrible (it's another example of the "wrap everything up in two minutes" ending all too present in Chan's recent movies). Finally, Rumble's script is pathetically weak, and the supporting cast (particularly the little kid) are some of the most non-talented and annoying personages ever put to celluoid.
What saves Rumble from going into the junk heap are (as you might guess) are the action sequences. After the initial introduction and brief plot exposition, the action comes fast and furious. Chan really shows his stuff in the fighting sequences, using everything but the kitchen sink to beat up his oppressors, and he'd probably use that too if it wasn't bolted down. A sequence where Chan takes on the gang in their "clubhouse" using pool cues, bottles, grocery carts, refrigerators, pinball machines and skis to beat up the hooligans ranks among Chan's best work to date. In the stunt department, Chan also doesn't disappoint. There are several inventive and breathtaking stunts in Rumble, including one where Chan jumps off the top of a parking garage onto the fire escape of another building. It just has to be seen to be believed.
It's not a "great" movie, but if you're looking for a fun action movie, you could do a lot worse than Rumble in the Bronx.
- Trying to make Vancouver look like the Bronx was tricky. The crew had to paint graffiti on the walls and then take it off every night and had to shoot at angles that would not show mountains in the background. Eventually, Chan told the crew to forget about all of that and concentrate on the action.
- Rumble was the top-grossing movie in HK in 1995 and made $10 million during its first week in US theatres, which paved the way for the release of several more Chan films to US theatres.
- The movie has some similarities to the Police Story series, such as the "Uncle Bill" character. Also, in Project S (a spin-off from Police Story 3: Supercop) Jackie Chan has a cameo and gets a call from Uncle Bill, who tells him he has to go to America.
The US version is edited by about 20 minutes from the Hong Kong version. Here are some of the changes (they are in chronological order):
- The score has been re-done and even lines spoken in English in the HK version have been dubbed.
- During Keung and Uncle Bill's drive to the store, Uncle Bill tries to convince Keung to join him in the business; Keung refuses, saying he's just gotten a promotion in the HK police department (no mention is made of Keung being a cop in the US version).
- When Keung is looking at the pictures in Bill's apartment, we learn that Keung's father was a retired HK cop who used to be Bill's partner in the market until he was killed by a robber.
- Bill yells at the guys cleaning/painting the store in perfect English.
- The bit between Elaine, Bill and Walter (the real estate agent) is longer. Elaine spends some time computing how much the building would be worth in Hong Kong and we see more comedic bits of Keung behind the mirror (smelling his armpit and doing some dance moves).
- The motorcycle race between Nancy and the blonde girl is longer.
- During the wedding sequence, Keung manages to convince Elaine to buy the market by bringing down the price. There is also a Chinese opera sequence and Bill and his wife exchanging vows in Cantonese that was cut.
- Keung's workout sequence before Bill and his wife leave is longer in the HK version; the US version added in the radio in the background talking about the stolen diamonds.
- The initial confrontation between Elaine and the gang is longer; after Keung beats up the gang, he demonstrates some of his kung-fu to the clerks.
- Keung mentions he has a girlfriend in Hong Kong when the kid asks if he wants to date Nancy.
- There is an additional scene after Keung leaves Nancy's apartment. Keung comes and sees the market trashed; Elaine begins complaining about all the stuff that has happened. Two thugs come in to extort some money for "protection," but Keung scares them away. The bike gang then storm in and start looting the market; both Keung and Elaine run for cover. Keung calls the police and the cops chase the gang away. Keung tells Elaine everything will be okay and leaves the market. The gang sees Keung on the street and begins to chase him. (The US version cuts right to the chase.)
- During the chase, Keung gets caught in a bundle of balloons.
- When Keung is trapped on top of the parking garage, one of the bike gang says "Your cop buddies can't help you out now".
- The rooftop jump is longer, with about 4 or 5 different angles of the stunt.
- Tony (the bike gang leader) sees the diamond deal going down.
- The two thugs return to the market to extort money. Since Keung isn't around, Elaine tries to act tough, saying she knows kung-fu. The thugs don't believe the lie and slap her and take some money.
- After the cops fails to get anything from Angelo (the blonde goon who got the diamonds), they begin to bicker with one another. The captain tells the cigar-chomping cop to "get that piece of dung crap out of your mouth".
- Elaine meets with Walter to try to sell the market (she asks for about $60,000 more than she paid for it). Keung arrives, says he was sorry for letting her down, and wishes her good luck.
- The music in the club where Nancy works comes close to matching what the house band looks like, unlike the rap used in the US version.
- The US version actually adds in a couple of shots after Keung and Nancy leave the nightclub, such as Nancy kicking over the motorcycle.
- When Nancy and Keung are talking by the harbor, Keung says he has a girlfriend in Hong Kong, to which Nancy replies "I like a man who's honest" before kissing him.
- Keung and Nancy go to Keung's apartment. Nancy kisses Keung just as Elaine comes in. Elaine then yells at Keung, saying he's why the store keeps getting trashed.
- The fight between Keung and the gang in their hideout is a bit longer and has different sound effects.
- Before Keung is sent in undercover, a cop tells him "I know you're a cop in Hong Kong, but things work differently here."
- The cops are shown bumbling around a bit more when they're trying to catch up with Keung driving the hovercraft. One of the cops says "How are we suppoed to stop that? It's running like a goose through shit!"
- Elaine says "hit him dead!" several times before Keung runs over White Tiger.
- Over the end credits, there is a song by Jackie Chan, rather than "Kung Fu" by Ash.
A review for the DVD of this movie can be found here
Back to Movie Review index