6 September 2009 | thesar-2
The Streets of San Bronx
I'd guess you'd have to call 'Rumble in the Bronx' an extreme example of a guilty pleasure. Though back in the 1990s, it was not my first introduction to Jackie Chan (the inferior 'Supercop' was) it was the one that got me hooked on his work. All the way through this viewing – the first in many years, the word "silly" kept popping up in my mind. It's dialogue, acting, stereotypes and shoddy cop work was so hilariously bad, I could only think this had to be written by someone who's only contact with the U.S.A. involves watching old 1970s cop hour-long dramas. And while some scenes were actually funny (SEE: the wrench threat) some were downright unintentionally funny (SEE: the toddler-toss and the entire closing on the golf course.) Leaving all that negative behind, it was an extreme joy watching Chan perform his own stunts in many, many inventive ways while simultaneously creating a very human and good-hearted character. The stunts were simply amazing and if one were to watch today for the first time, they need to know: he did them all himself, without a green screens, cables, etc. As arrogant as Chan is – I've read his biography, it's dripping with arrogance, he does have great gifts in originality, showmanship, pride in his work and making sure he never uses traditional American trickery/stunts. (This changes later in his work, when he was forced and got older, but this work and ones around it were all pure Chan.) Synopsis: Good-natured nephew Chan visits NYC and gets thrown in extraordinary circumstances: fighting both gangs and mob bosses while helping 2 women, his Uncle and a handicapped child. All that's irrelevant; what matters is once the action starts, it never lets up. And with an open-mind, what a fun rumble you'll have.
Side Note: Wow.. not only was it painful for all the actors to get hurt during production (not to mention the roughly 16 dozen vehicles) it was also gut wrenching to watch the closing credits that showed mostly the unintentional crashes, broken bones, etc. You really have to hand it to the devotion of the crew, cast and Chan. Definitely Chan. My comments about his arrogance does not mean I don't admire the man, especially his extremely poor and underprivileged beginnings to the entertainer he became. He's one of the very few actors/action stars that no matter how incredibly silly his movies look to me – it has to be a culture thing, it's always a rush to see how long his fight scenes last, how inventive he becomes and simply how exciting they are.