My Cushion!: 'Rumble in the Bronx' Review
For my second feature film of June-Jitsu, I watched Rumble in the Bronx a Jackie Chan flick from way back in 1995. That's back when I was six years old. Of course, Chan had been taking at least bit parts in action flicks for 33 years by then, even starring in a few. Man do I feel old.
Rumble in the Bronx follows Chan as Keung, an immigrant fresh off the plane to visit his uncle in New York. His uncle, played by Bill Tung, is trying to sell his Korean corner market and get married to a large overly expressive African-American stereotype to buy a ranch and breed racehorses. Unfortunately for Keung, he gets wrapped up in the lives of his uncle's next door neighbors, a wheelchair-bound little boy, and his gang member sister. Keung picks a fight with the street gang and ends up being pursued by an organized crime syndicate looking for the diamonds that end up hidden in the wheelchair cushion of the next door neighbor. Keung deals with the conflict between these external forces as well as the tension between traditional and modern values and lifestyle choices. It culminates in an awesome fight/chase scene featuring a giant hover ship driving through the streets of New York.
As with any Jackie Chan led action film, the fight choreography is great, especially considering that Chan had to teach the local New York stunt guys how to fight for Hong Kong Cinema style. Of course, as with any early Jackie Chan flick, the acting is mediocre, with English dubbing over was clearly not English dialogue, lines that could not possibly be heard by the camera spoken over full shots of a set, and primarily less than low budget talent filling in the roles around Chan. The plot is also fairly straightforward and predictable, but it's an older action movie, so it gets more leeway than most modern movies that keep puking the same story arc on the screen every chance they get.
All things considered, I'd say give it a skip. As much as I enjoy Chan's fight scenes, the story and writing make the movie. If I ONLY wanted action I could watch compilation videos on YouTube. Rumble in the Bronx is a watchable movie if you take into account its release date, and it's Hong Kong film for Western Audiences origin, but if you're in the market for an excellent Jackie Chan movie then watch Drunken Master, Shanghai Noon, or Rush Hour. If you've seen all his genuinely good films and are just interested in new Chan fight scenes, then Rumble in the Bronx will do.