Rumble in the Bronx

Rumble in the Bronx: whilst visiting his uncle in New York, Keong fom Hong Kong finds himself in the crosshairs of several gangs. The premise is basic (like the far East’s rebuttal to Black Rain – the West is full of uncivilized, violent punks!), the plot twists are silly and the acting’s borderline woeful, but this film has Jackie Chan; and an on form Jackie Chan of that! The action set pieces are still among the best you can find today; the shop fight, back alley fight, car park chase, and the superb gang den fight… action doesn’t get any better than this: strength, acrobatic skills, timing, planning, intuitive use of space & objects – it’s almost unbelievable. I could genuinely watch these scenes on loop all day and never get bored. The biggest stunts have a timeless jaw-dropping quality, mostly because they’re real and well-edited: you want to pull down a building? Lets build one to demolish! You want a hovercraft/car chase scene? Lets make it happen on real streets! Jackie Chan jumping a large gap between to 10-storey buildings? CGI boring and waste of money! Above the eye-blasting stuntwork there’s a lot of camera-friendly graffiti, clothes, cars, buildings and other such eye candy. There’s a couple of bizarre slapstick scenes that stick out like sore thumbs, but other than that, it’s all gravy. Sure it will never be on a Criterion or AFI “best films of all time” list, but Rumble in the Bronx is entertainment in one of its most pure and watchable forms, and they just don’t make ‘em like this any more.

Score: 8/10

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3 comments
  1. Nice! This was the first Jackie Chan flick I ever actually bought, instead of just watching on late-night Channel 4. Freaking classic

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  2. Jaina said:

    Love Rumble in the Bronx. It’s fun and like you said, real. Definitely agree that it’s one of his finest. Alongside Police Story.

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  3. This was the first Jackie Chan movie I ever saw. My mind was completely blown. Obviously, I had never seen anything like it before. Afterwards, I became a huge fan and devoured every Jackie film I could get my hands on. But this one still remains of my all time favorites of his.

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