Rumble in the Bronx
(紅番區; Hong faan kui
in Cantonese) is a 1995 Hong Kong martial arts
starring Jackie Chan
and Anita Mui
Released in the US in 1996, Rumble in the Bronx had a successful theater run, and brought Chan into the American mainstream. Rumble in the Bronx is set in the Bronx area of New York City but was filmed in and around Vancouver.
Jackie Chan pulled off some death-defying stunts in the movie, and spent much of the filming time with one leg in a cast. His foot had not yet healed when it was time to film the movie's climax and so the crew simply colored a sock to wear over his cast resembling the sneaker on his other foot. His foot hadn't completely healed when he went on to shoot Thunderbolt (filmed the same year but released earlier). Also, the lead actress and several stunt doubles broke their ankles during the shooting of a motorcycle stunt.
Keung (Jackie Chan
), a former Hong Kong martial arts champion, comes to New York to attend the wedding of his Uncle Bill (Bill Tung
) who introduces his new wife to him down at his supermarket. Keung gets a job with one of the workers, Elena. Bill's friend asks him to take care of his car, until later that night, a street gang starts a motorcycle race near his apartment. They are about to run over his friend's car until Keung jumps down and stops them. He soon starts a rivalry with the street gang when he drives them away from the supermarket that they were robbing and vandalizing. When a member of the street gang gets involved in an illegal diamond deal gone bad and steals the diamonds, the small-time gangsters become the victims of a much larger criminal syndicate, and Keung agrees to help them. Keung convinces the street gangsters to reform, then brings the big-time criminals to justice.
When released in North America, Rumble in the Bronx
received generally good reviews, as most critics were happy that a Jackie Chan
film was finally getting a wide theatrical release in North America. The film currently has a 78% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and 81% among the 'Cream of the Crop.'
Most critics agreed that the plot and acting were lacking, but the action, stunts, and Chan's charm made up for it.
Roger Ebert's review for the Chicago Sun-Times was:
"Any attempt to defend this movie on rational grounds is futile. Don't tell me about the plot and the dialogue. Don't dwell on the acting. The whole point is Jackie Chan - and, like Astaire and Rogers, he does what he does better than anybody. There is a physical confidence, a grace, an elegance to the way he moves. There is humor to the choreography of the fights (which are never too gruesome).
He's having fun. If we allow ourselves to get in the right frame of mind, so are we.
In Hong Kong, Rumble in the Bronx
earned HK $56,911,136 making it the biggest film of the year in Hong Kong and one of Chan's biggest ever.
It was also Chan's North American breakthrough. Opening on 1,736 North American screens, it was number one at the box office in its opening weekend, grossing US $9,858,380 ($5,678 per screen). It finished its North American run with US $32,392,047.
The international version of Rumble in the Bronx
was dubbed to English with participation by Jackie Chan
. A scene of Chan on an airplane to New York
was added to the opening credits and another scene where Keung and Nancy escape from the nightclub was also added. Neither of these scenes were in the original Hong Kong release.
17 minutes of cuts were made, including:
- A scene in which two gang members extort some money, and then steal some items from beside the cash register.
- Some dialogue between Chan and Anita Mui at Uncle Bill's wedding.
- A lecture by Chan on martial arts.
- A scene where Chan travels to a market and sees the gang members who had extorted money from Uncle Bill. Before he has a chance to fight, the entire biker gang shows up, so Chan instead calls the police. (This scene is restored in the US cable version).
- In the Hong Kong version, Chan's speech to the gang about their wasted lives is longer.
- Chan's song during the end credits is replaced by the song "Kung Fu" by the band Ash, the lyrics of which mention Jackie Chan, as well as other key figures from Hong Kong cinema.
Last night Jackie Chan came around,
I played pool with him and we hung out.
- The international version was cut still further for the Buena Vista's UK and Australian releases of the film - 42 seconds of a scene where gangsters batted bottles at Chan's character were docked.
Awards and Nominations
For the "Ben Knows" comedy TV spot