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Overall Rating

Awesome: 21.95%
Worth A Look60.98%
Just Average: 12.2%
Pretty Crappy: 4.88%
Sucks: 0%

3 reviews, 23 user ratings

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Rumble in the Bronx
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by Rob Gonsalves

"The movie that introduced a lot of us to Jackie Chan."
4 stars

Correct me if I'm wrong, but nobody ever went to a Fred Astaire musical for the plot. They came to see Astaire do his thing. It may seem absurd to compare Jackie Chan with Astaire, but bear with me.

When the song-and-dance movies died, the beauty of physical movement all but disappeared from screens. Then Bruce Lee came along. Within the martial arts format, Lee inaugurated a violent new brand of ballet. Then he died. Since then, we've had skillful but uninspired clunkers like Sonny Chiba and Steven Seagal -- bruisers giving martial arts a bad name.

Actually, we've had another great fighter-dancer for the past twenty years. America has been oblivious to him until now. His name is Jackie Chan, and he has tried to kick through American apathy twice before -- in 1980's The Big Brawl and in 1985's The Protector. His new one, Rumble in the Bronx, is the 42-year-old international star's calling card to the west. It's not a great movie, but it's a decent showcase for a great star.

People will probably go to laugh, to goof on the movie. But watch what Jackie Chan does, and try to be unimpressed. Chan, who does all his own stunts, has the most fluid and gravity-defying moves since Bruce Lee, and he isn't a grim punisher like Chiba or Seagal -- he's an entertainer. The word that best describes him, crazy as it sounds, is "sweet." He has an easy manner, and when he smiles he looks so goofy yet so delighted that you can't help smiling along with him.

I love, for example, the way he deals with a scuzzy gang of motorcycle creeps. After dispatching what seem like dozens of them, he stands back and says, "I hope that the next time we meet, we will not be fighting, but instead drinking tea together" -- and he means it. Chan only fights when he's forced to, and even then he's not vicious. He fights to give us a virtuosic show, not to destroy people. The only time he gets really mad is when some bad guys, looking for stolen diamonds, threaten a wheelchair-bound little boy he has befriended.

Director Stanley Tong, who has a stunt background himself, doesn't really know what to do with the camera in the dialogue scenes. When it matters, though, his work is crisp and unintrusive. The fight choreography is flat-out brilliant; there's one brawl -- involving a shopping cart, a fridge, you name it -- that is easily the funniest and most exhilarating sequence of mayhem I've seen since Harrison Ford hung up his fedora. Tong realizes that Chan is the best special effect a director could want. Chan does something no other star can do by himself: he gives us back a childlike sense of awe.

And the plot? This is the plot: Every ten minutes or so, Jackie Chan gets into a fight; everything else is filler. This is the plot of every Jackie Chan movie, as well as every Bruce Lee movie (and every Fred Astaire movie, if you substitute dancing for fighting).

Some may say 'Rumble in the Bronx' uses Jackie Chan to make up for not having a story. I say most other movies use a story to make up for not having Jackie Chan.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1435&reviewer=416
originally posted: 02/01/07 23:18:08
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User Comments

2/08/07 Raph Branca Not at all a Jackie Chan classic but worth a look as an entry level fluff action film. 3 stars
3/27/06 Brian Meyer A great action flick, though U.S. version is heavily censored. 5 stars
2/16/05 Daveman So silly but so much fun. 3 stars
1/23/05 keithers.. A very good Chan film....he still pretty fast. His last good movie to date... 4 stars
11/20/03 rony this movie was the bomb and very funny. awesome fighting scenes. 5 stars
1/03/03 Charles Tatum Grand action, Tong should direct a Bond film 4 stars
9/28/02 STEVE jackie and arnold rule the action movies.jet li and bruce li to.rest in peace bruce 5 stars
5/17/02 Priscilla Postlethwaite What lacks in plot coherence made up in madcap action; Anita pooping hilarious. 4 stars
1/20/02 keith langman three words..... building to building 3 stars
11/29/01 Rutt13 Amazingly Cheezy, but really fun stuff 4 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat Not that good, but not very crappy either. 3 stars
5/31/01 mjm103171 god bless jackie chan 5 stars
3/08/01 fifu amazing action, leaves you breathless (but plotless)! 3 stars
6/23/00 Naushad Khanji forget the plot and go for a pulse pounding excitement 5 stars
2/27/00 arnold great action 5 stars
4/17/99 Ah Dooey Oz's review said it all 4 stars
4/07/99 Fordy Not one of his best, but a groundbreaker into internetional recognition. Great fight scenes 5 stars
2/05/99 Vick Di Brecci I thought this movie was ridiculous 2 stars
1/18/99 Yo Momma Truly compelling when the Chanster did most of the stunts with a busted leg. Damn great. 4 stars
1/16/99 amos on of the most exciting movies to watch 5 stars
1/03/99 Fartass I love it! Great kung-fu action/comedy! Better than those Van Dumb movies! 4 stars
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  23-Feb-1996 (R)


  16-May-1996 (M)

Directed by
  Stanley Tong

Written by
  Fibe Ma
  Edward Tang

  Jackie Chan
  Anita Mui
  Françoise Yip
  Bill Tung
  Marc Akerstream
  Garvin Cross

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