Is there a chance youšve never heard about Jackie Chan? Well, hešs been in some of the coolest, rock em-sock em, fight-25-guys-and-still-win Hong Kong action flicks in existence. In his best movies, you get characters you can root for and believe in, a plot that at least doesnšt get in the way, and action sequences that just knock you silly and leave you wondering if any sane human being would ever do that.
My general conclusion has been, um, no. No one sane would ever do that stuff.
But even in his worst efforts, the action sequences are worth the price of admission. That's why Jackie Chan is the film star with the most fans in the world.
"Rumble in the Bronx" is neither one of his worst nor one of his best, but it's certainly got some elements of both. It starts off with Jackie visiting his uncle in New York. Uncle Bill is getting married, so he's selling his corner store in the Bronx to a woman, played by another Hong Kong superstar, Anita Mui. Of course, some local toughs try to rough her up, and that's where Jackie comes in. He roughs 'em up right back, and becomes the object of the gang leader's pure hatred. Somehow the mob gets in on the action, and before you know it, there's another fight scene, a few more explosions, and so on, down to the dramatic conclusion with... a hovercraft?
But be honest, you're not seeing a Jackie Chan movie for the acting, or the plot. That's just the icing on the cake. No, you're in it to see him jump from the top of a building, across an alley, onto a three-foot balcony. That's a 40-foot drop across a 26-foot alley, if you're keeping score at home. And if you blinked, that's OK. You'll see it again, from a couple more camera angles.
Sure, it's pretty hokey at times, but Jackie Chan delivers the goods over and over again. And the best reason to see this is, if "Rumble in the Bronx" succeeds, there'll be more and better Jackie Chan movies coming soon to a theater near you.
Copyright 1996 Alex Lau
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