Rumble in the Bronx

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.


Some trivia:

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):

A review for the DVD of this movie can be found here

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