Anthony's Film Review
Rumble in the Bronx (1995)
Jackie Chan is a mesmerizing martial arts stuntman in this eye-popping action flick...
Rumble in the Bronx was my introduction to the talents of martial arts star Jackie Chan. It also happened to be his introduction to the American audience, generating much interest in his movies since. Up until that point, I only heard of Jackie Chan by name in conjunction with references to Bruce Lee, the quintessential martial arts actor, comparing the two fighters. My reaction while watching Rumble in the Bronx was probably a lot like the intial reaction of someone watching his or her first Bruce Lee movie: a mixture of fascination and excitement.
Let me recall the moment I felt this. In the beginning of Rumble in the Bronx, Jackie Chan arrives in New York to visit a relative. He is in a convenience store when several thugs walk in, ready to cause trouble. The moment Jackie sees what's going on, he leaps into action. Literally. Watch as he jumps several feet into the air and lands just in time to deliver a rapid series of blows to his opponents. In about two seconds, just about all of the thugs have taken hits from Jackie. He is that fast.
And if you're like me, you probably expect Jackie Chan to be just a faster version of Bruce Lee. Not true at all. Jackie Chan is also the most daring stuntman the world has ever seen. Just about every Jackie Chan movie has a stunt and one that you may consider the film's signature stunt. In Rumble in the Bronx, the prime stunt involves a running jump off the top of a parking garage, across the street while a hundred feet in the air, with a hard landing on a fire escape on the opposite building. It looks really painful, but Jackie pulls it off, all by himself.
This is the kind of action you can expect in this movie and in many of Jackie's movies. There's more action in the streets and also a long sequence involving a hovercraft. I'll let you discover the fun, but I guarantee you that it's a very entertaining action film. When it's over, you will see outtakes, many involving takes of stunts that did not go right. In fact, you do see the result of the stunt I just described. Jackie is on film with a cast around his leg after that long jump. The outtakes are there for extra humorous entertainment and also a reminder that these stunts are extremely dangerous.
The last thing I will mention is what this movie and many of Jackie's movies do not have: a structured plot. You may see the beginning of one, but that's all you will see. The purpose of watching a Jackie Chan movie is not to watch a good story. It's to watch a jaw-dropping adrenaline-filled ballet of punches, kicks, and other ways to attack and defend. To expect a plot in a Jackie Chan movie is to expect a plot in an adult movie. I realize that's a weird analogy, but you can watch the movie and care less about the story, because the action is the real treat.
The last shot of Rumble in the Bronx before the outtakes ends with a freeze frame, and Jackie is smiling in it. After being immersed in this movie, I could not help but smile just like him. The movie was quite fun the way it was.
For more information about Rumble in the Bronx, visit the Internet Movie Database.