Review: RUMBLE IN THE BRONX 紅番區 (1995) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Review: RUMBLE IN THE BRONX 紅番區 (1995)

Review: RUMBLE IN THE BRONX 紅番區 (1995)

Chan stars as Keung, a Hong Kong cop who is on the vacation to New York (which is actually shot in Vancouver as a stand-in) to attend the wedding of his Uncle Bill (Bill Tung) and his wife Whitney (Carrie Cain-Sparks). Since Uncle Bill has decided to spend a honeymoon vacation with his newly-wed wife, he decided to sell his old supermarket store to a Chinese woman named Elaine (Anita Mui). At first, everything turns out well until Keung gets involved with the local thugs, lead by Tony (Marc Akerstream), who demands occasional "protection" money. Keung manages to fend off some of the thugs trying to mess up Elaine's supermarket store but the trouble doesn't stop there. One night, Keung is being ambushed by Tony and his gang and ends up being bashed up pretty badly. Keung is fortunate enough to receive medical care from Nancy (Francoise Yip), who has a wheelchair-bound little brother named Danny (Morgan Lam). Keung also discovers that Nancy is Tony's girlfriend. A series of further complications ensues when one of the gang members named Angelo (Garvin Cross) gets involved in an illegal diamond deal gone awry. Apparently, he ends up stealing the diamonds and hides them inside Danny's wheelchair cushion. Tony and his gang members subsequently become the victims of the illegal diamond syndicate lead by White Tiger (Kris Lord). Nevertheless, Keung gets caught in the middle, and forces to save the day.

REVIEW: A major hit all over the world, RUMBLE IN THE BRONX was Hong Kong's top-grossing moneymaker in 1995 and also one of Jackie Chan's biggest box office hits to date (with a whopping HK$56.9 million). Not only that, it was a decent box office smash when the movie released in the US and finally brought Jackie Chan into Hollywood attention after he failed to conquer the Stateside back in the early '80s with flops like THE BIG BRAWL and THE PROTECTOR. On paper, RUMBLE IN THE BRONX does sounds like a great Jackie Chan action movie extravaganza, especially he teams up with director Stanley Tong again (who both previously collaborated in 1992's POLICE STORY 3: SUPERCOP). However the movie itself is a half-baked effort which suffered from a terribly hackneyed plot and some bad acting all around.

RUMBLE IN THE BRONX is essentially a throwback to the '80s Hong Kong action genre where action obviously speaks louder than words. Edward Tang and Fibe Ma's script is pedestrian as it gets, and even needlessly convoluted when they attempt to add more agenda midway into the movie. The acting is average at best, with Chan being his usual old self. Anita Mui is surprisingly underwhelming here in a thankless role, while Francoise Yip is nothing more than an eye-catching beauty with little else matters. Stanley Tong's direction is predictable and like what he did in POLICE STORY 3: SUPERCOP, it took him a long while before he can get to an exciting pace. That said, the first third of the movie is especially long-winded to pick up the steam.

However, once the movie reaches to the point when Jackie Chan finally strutting his stuff, you'll be greatly rewarded with some of the best trademark stunts ever seen in a movie. That includes a daredevil jump where Jackie Chan leaps from the top of a parking lot to a fire escape on the floor below the building across the street. (The incredible stunt itself took four cameras to shoot, and Chan himself managed the jump successfully on the first attempt without safety harness); the painful scene where Chan gets smashed up pretty bad from flying broken pieces of glass bottles in the back alley; the exciting final fight scene against Tony and his gang; and the inspiring climactic chase scene involving a hovercraft and Chan skiing across the ocean with his bare feet (the stunt itself has caused Chan broke his right ankle).

RUMBLE IN THE BRONX won Best Action Choreography at the Hong Kong Film Award. The movie also received six nods including Best Picture (lost to Ann Hui's SUMMER SNOW), Best Actor (Jackie Chan lost to Roy Chiao in SUMMER SNOW), Best Actress (Anita Mui lost to Josephine Siao in SUMMER SNOW) and Best Supporting Actress (Francoise Yip lost to Karen Mok in FALLEN ANGELS).

Despite the terribly hackneyed plot and bad acting all over the place, RUMBLE IN THE BRONX gets exciting once Jackie Chan starts strutting his trademark stunts.

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