Film Review: Rumble In the Bronx (1995)

Release Date: January 21st, 1995 (Hong Kong)
Directed by: Stanley Tong
Written by: Edward Tang, Fibe Ma
Music by: Nathan Wong (Hong Kong version), J. Peter Robinson (USA version)
Cast: Jackie Chan, Anita Mui, Francoise Yip

Golden Harvest, 106 Minutes (Hong Kong), 87 Minutes (USA) 


I love Jackie Chan but despite the fanfare it gets, Rumble In the Bronx is a fairly shitty movie. Well, the American version of the film plays horribly, anyway.

To start, Rumble In the Bronx has some of the worst English dubbing I have ever heard. I mean, it is truly awful. Considering that the majority of the actors could speak English, yet they didn’t do alternate takes or let the regular actors dub their own lines is pretty baffling. I mean, I get it, this was a picture limited by budget but realistically, its budget was larger than earlier Chan pictures and it was made in an effort to help him crossover to the international mainstream.

Granted, the crossover worked. This film lead to Jackie Chan becoming a regular in American films and it also helped bring his other Hong Kong pictures to U.S. theaters.

But that dubbing is atrocious. Especially for the thugs and the little handicapped kid, who you should really feel for but instead find yourself laughing at him every time he starts yelling about his damn cushion.

The acting is awful, not that you watch these types of films for acting but when the movie is made up primarily of stuntmen with speaking roles, you can see the problem. Granted, the dubbing didn’t help and can probably take some of the blame.

This is also called Rumble In the Bronx but the Bronx is actually Vancouver and it is really noticeable. In fact, it is pretty distracting, especially when you see mountains in many of the outdoor scenes.

Additionally, I’m not sure what the people of Hong Kong think street gangs in New York City look and act like but this film is way off. Then again, it probably serves America right, as we have done a poor job of portraying other cultures since filmmaking began.

Are there positives? Sure.

The whole ending sequence with the hovercraft is pretty damn fun. Also, the fight choreography and stunts are top notch. Chan really lets it all hang out in this film. However, it still doesn’t knock your socks off like some of his other movies. But in the end, he has that Jackie Chan charm and it is hard to not love his character, even if he is always the same character.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Rumble In the Bronx. It just doesn’t cut the mustard when compared to Chan’s other work. I think they could have done much better in creating a film to help Jackie Chan crossover but again, it worked.

Rating: 6/10

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