Chan Gets Ready to Rumble
It's astonishing to think that Jackie Chan, one of the world's most popular martial arts stars, actually appeared in his first movie as a child in 1962 and for over the next 3 decades he would continue to make movies but it wasn't till 1995 that he became the huge world wide star he deserved to be. Oh he was well known in his native Hong Kong and amongst martial arts enthusiasts but it wasn't until 1995 and "Rumble in the Bronx" that suddenly the nimble and comical Jackie Chan caught the eyes of mainstream cinema. The irony is that the actual storyline to "Rumble in the Bronx" is poor and it is only the fantastic stunt work of Chan as he flips, twists, jumps and kicks his way through one scene after another that makes it so entertaining, well that and Chan's wonderful comic timing.
Having arrived in New York for his Uncle's wedding Keung (Jackie Chan - The Cannonball Run) not only befriends the sweet Elaine (Anita Mui) who is buying his Uncle's market but also Danny (Morgan Lam), the kid in the wheelchair who lives next door. When Keung finds himself in a series of fights after dealing with some shoplifters he also finds himself in the middle of some gang trouble over stolen diamonds as Danny's beautiful sister Nancy (FranÃ§oise Yip) is involved and Keung can't but help a pretty woman out.
The storyline to "Rumble in the Bronx" is poor; it is your bog standard vehicle for action as we have a good guy in a city dealing with bad guys whilst helping a pretty woman. It is the sort of story that if it had features Van Damme or Seagal would have been just another action movie. In fact the storyline is so weak that it isn't until about half way in that a storyline starts to form and then it never really becomes the focus of the movie.
But then the focus of "Rumble in the Bronx" was always Jackie Chan and it was a movie made to try and help Jackie establish himself and his brand of martial arts with humour to mainstream audiences. And as such the majority of the movie is taken up with action sequences from defeating 4 guys who shoplift to dare devil jumps from one building to another. And it is all fantastic because of Jackie Chan, his speed and nimbleness is stunning as he twists, turns and flips and watching someone do proper dangerous stunts is exciting. Yes the editors play their part but from a motorbike narrowly missing Chan's crotch to a water skiing scene it is so impressive. And what is more impressive is what you see during the end credits, the countless injuries, the numerous paramedics and the fact that Chan had a plaster cast on his leg through parts of the movie having broken his ankle during a stunt.
It's not all about the action because it is the combination of it with Chan's natural comic timing. The comical weightlifting scene in front of a two way mirror or a look of surprise it all makes you laugh. Even something such as Jackie Chan doing hand stand press-ups is not only impressive it still makes you laugh.
Now the thing which really makes "Rumble in the Bronx" purely a Jackie Chan vehicle is that the rest of the cast is forgettable. So Anita Mui is sweet as Elaine and FranÃ§oise Yip is sexy as Nancy but you don't remember their characters nor do you remember any of the actors or characters who play the bad guys.
What this all boils down to is that "Rumble in the Bronx" is entertaining but purely because of Jackie Chan and his brilliant skills not only as a stunt man but also as a comedian. Without Chan "Rumble in the Bronx" is a forgettable routine crime story with nothing else worth mentioning about.