Rumble in the Bronx was a major hit in Mainland China, as well as being Hong
Kong’s top moneymaker in 1995 AND the number one film in the U.S.
for a week too. With all that popularity, you’d think this was a
pretty damn good movie. However, its success can be tied to a number
of things, like the allure of the west for HK people, and Jackie
Chan as Americans like to see him: doing kung-fu in America. Big
question of the day: is this movie really that good? The answer:
plot is as simple as they come. Hong Kong cop Jackie (Chan) goes
to America to attend the wedding of his Uncle Bill (Bill Tung).
Before you know it, Jackie gets involved with some random street
thugs and some stolen diamonds, and soon everyone is running all
over the place after Jackie. Sometimes there's property damage and
silly plot devices that keep the movie going. And occasionally Jackie
must hit people.
As Hong Kong plots go, this one is pretty
average. However, given the impressive production values (It's Vancouver
as the Bronx!) and sync sound, the holes in the story are more noticeable
than ever. An obvious attempt to ape Western filmmaking, this half-baked
attempt fails thanks to the terrible script, lousy acting and slapped-together
Fighting-wise, there's some good news.
Chan stages at least two decent set pieces with all the choreography
and inventiveness you've come to expect from him, and his stuntwork is top-notch. However, the climactic
chase sequence involves a hovercraft gone wild, and not actual fighting.
Raise your hand if you go to a Jackie Chan movie to see a hovercraft.
Also, poor Anita Mui has an incredibly
thankless role. One of Hong Kong's finer actresses gets dissed in
favor of newbie Francoise Yip, who’s incredibly gorgeous but a horrific
actress. She also speaks only English in the film, whereupon Chan
responds in Cantonese and the two continue like that for an entire
ten-minute conversation. Sorry, but I find it really hard to get into a film
when two people act like they're having a conversation but are speaking
Which brings us to the American version or Rumble in the Bronx, which wwas chopped down (not much necessary content was lost) and the whole thing
rescored and dubbed into English. That's including Francoise Yip,
whose acting actually improves after being dubbed by someone else.
To go on would be meaningless. Rumble in the Bronx is a film
that all but requires chapter stops. Skip to fight number one. Then
skip to fight number two. Then turn it off, and put in a better
movie like Drunken Master II. (Kozo, 1996)