Twitter Plot Summary: Jackie Chan visits New York for his uncle’s wedding, only to get on the wrong side of a local gang.
Five Point Summary:
1. See through mirror. Cunning.
2. Smashed glass.
3. Gang fight!
4. Half the house left.
5. Hovercraft time!
Rumble In the Bronx marked the breakthrough movie of Jackie Chan, so it’s with no small amount of symbolism that he opens the film by flying into New York from the homeland. Visiting his uncle who is about to get married and runs a shop in the Bronx (although this was actually shot in Vancouver), Chan’s Keung finds himself chased by a gang after he interrupts one of their destructive street games. The odds are heavily stacked against him, with matters becoming much more complicated when some mob goons get involved and try to locate some missing diamonds after one of the gang members got greedy. Keung ends up helping a young disabled boy and his sister (also a member of the gang) and resolves to sort matters out himself after the police do nothing to intervene.
Whilst an entertaining Hong Kong action movie, Rumble In The Bronx acts as a showcase for exactly how quick Jackie Chan was back in the day. He moves ridiculously fast, his limbs a cavalcade of punches and swift kicks as he fends off attack after attack. The practical effect stunts never fail to impress and, as has become tradition, not without their own fair share of injuries as documented in the end credits. It’s the fact that the stunts were performed for real, and led to genuine injuries, that makes them all the more effective and occasionally breathtaking. Whilst the dubbing is slightly iffy, with that traditional stilted delivery that often ruins a dub, the action sequences more than make up for it.
It’s also quite funny at many points throughout, mixing in slapstick humour with the occasional explosive moment and the occasionally insane stunts. Chan will always be a fun presence in any film he makes, remaining tough yet always maintaining that air of loveable charm.
The problem of course is that they never seem to learn that if they attack him all at once then he probably wouldn’t stand a chance. Taking it in turns to attack him is never going to work. It’s best to remember that this is never supposed to be a gritty martial arts film along the same lines as a Van Damme flick, instead it’s supposed to be fun with a much lower sense of danger and a moral for us all to take away by the end. In this instance, working together and doing good instead of evil is the best way to live your life, and also sets an example to those around you.
By the final set piece, featuring a hovercraft chase throughout the streets of New York *cough Vancouver* it’s a silly yet entirely entertaining finale to the movie. True to form, you know that the bad guys will get their comeuppance and everybody else will live happily ever after. The lesson to be learned here of course is that if you’re a gang or evil corporate types, if you mess with a disabled kid you’ll have to deal with Jackie Chan. Period.