Rumble in the Bronx
|Rumble in the Bronx|
Rumble in the Bronx Hong Kong theatrical poster
|Directed by||Stanley Tong|
Nathan Wong (HK version)|
J. Peter Robinson (US version)
|Edited by||Peter Cheung|
|Distributed by||Golden Harvest|
106 minutes (HK version)|
87 minutes (US version)
|Budget||US$ 7.5 million|
US$ 32,392,047 (U.S.)
Rumble in the Bronx, is a 1995 Hong Kong martial arts action comedy film starring Jackie Chan and Anita Mui. Released in Hong Kong in 1995, Rumble in the Bronx had a successful theater run, and brought Chan into the American mainstream. The film is set in the Bronx area of New York City but was filmed in and around Vancouver, Canada.
Ma Hon Keung (Jackie Chan), is a Hong Kong cop who comes to New York to attend the wedding of his Uncle, Bill (Bill Tung) and Whitney. The couple are in the process of selling their successful multicultural supermarket to Elaine (Anita Mui).
Keung soon finds himself defending those around him against the actions of a biker gang, led by Tony (Marc Akerstream), but becomes targeted. Among them is Nancy (Françoise Yip), a lingerie model/dancer and the elder sister of Danny (Morgan Lam), whom Keung befriends after being introduced by his neighbour, Uncle Bill.
Realising the errors of her ways, a relationship forms between Nancy and Keung, but the small-time gangsters become the victims of a much larger and more effective criminal syndicate led by White Tiger (Kris Lord), when a member named Angelo (Garvin Cross) steals illegal diamonds after a deal goes bad. Both Keung and the gang find themselves coming to a truce as they try to overcome the syndicate, who are determined to retrieve the diamonds by any means.
- Jackie Chan as Ma Hon Keung (T: 馬漢強, S: 马汉强, P: Mǎ Hànqiáng)
- Anita Mui as Elaine
- Françoise Yip as Nancy
- Bill Tung as Uncle Bill Ma (T: 馬 驃, S: 马 骠, J: maa5 piu3, P: Mǎ Piào)
- Marc Akerstream as Tony, leader of the gang
- Garvin Cross as Angelo
- Morgan Lam as Danny
- Kris Lord as White Tiger
- Carrie Cain Sparks as Whitney Ma
- Elliot Ngok (Yueh Hua) as Wah, the Realtor (T: 華, S: 华) (uncredited)
- Eddy Ko as Prospective market buyer
- Emil Chau as Ice cream salesman
- Alex To as Ice cream customer
- Jordan Lennox as Jordan, the lead syndicate gangster with glasses
- John Sampson as Gabriel, another syndicate gangster
- Richard Faraci as a syndicate gangster with a ponytail
- Jamie Luk as Steven Lo
- Ailen Sit as Tony's Gang Member
- Chan Man Ching as Tony's Gang Member
- Rocky Lai (extra)/(stunts)
- Mars (stunt) (uncredited)
- Colin Flora (stunt) (uncredited)
- Rob Wilton (stunts) Motorcycle and Hovercraft driver on land
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.
Awards and nominations
- 1996 Hong Kong Film Awards
- Winner: Best Action Choreography (Jackie Chan, Stanley Tong)
- Nomination: Best Actor (Jackie Chan)
- Nomination: Best Actress (Anita Mui)
- Nomination: Best Film Editing (Peter Cheung)
- Nomination: Best New Performer (Françoise Yip)
- Nomination: Best Picture (Barbie Tang)
- Nomination: Best Supporting Actress (Françoise Yip)
- 1997 Key Art Awards
- Winner: Best of Show – Audiovisual
For the "Ben Knows" comedy TV spot
Filming and production
In his autobiography, I am Jackie Chan: My life in Action, Jackie Chan talked about the initial difficulty of filming a movie in Vancouver that is set in New York. The production team initially had to put up fake graffiti during the day and take it all down during the evening, while simultaneously making sure that no mountains made it into the background. However, Chan decided that it was best that the production team focus on the action only without worrying too much about scenery. Viewers have noted mountains in the background, which doesn't exist in the NYC landscape, as well as the NYC helicopter which displays a Canandian civil registration (C-GZPM).
The original spoken dialogue consisted of all of the actors speaking their native language most of the time. In the completely undubbed soundtrack, available on the Warner Japanese R2 DVD release, Jackie Chan actually speaks his native Cantonese while Françoise Yip and Morgan Lam (the actors playing Nancy and Danny) speak English. All of the original dialogue was intended to be dubbed over in the international and Hong Kong film markets, and New Line cinema overdubbed and slightly changed the original English dialogue.
During filming, Chan injured his right leg while performing a stunt. He spent much of the remaining shooting time with one leg in a cast. When it came to the film's climax, the crew colored a sock to resemble the shoe on his good foot, which Chan wore over his cast. His foot still had not completely healed when he went on to shoot his next film, Thunderbolt (filmed the same year but released earlier).
The lead actress and several stunt doubles were also injured during the shooting of a motorcycle stunt, with several people suffering broken limbs and ankles.
New Line Cinema edit
New Line Cinema acquired the film for international distribution and commissioned a new music score and English dub (with participation from Jackie Chan). A scene of Keung's airplane flying to New York City was added to the opening credits. Two scenes added exclusively for the international version are Keung and Nancy escaping from the nightclub after the bikers spot them together, and White Tiger taking a golf shot before a subordinate approaches him with his phone. Neither of these scenes were in the original Hong Kong release. In comparison to the Hong Kong version, 17 minutes of cuts were made.
The new soundtrack replaced Chan's song over the closing credits with the song "Kung Fu" by the band Ash, the lyrics of which mention Jackie Chan, as well as other Asian figures and characters ubiquitous in the west.
The majority of DVD versions of the film contain the heavily edited US New Line Cinema cut, with the relevant dubs created for each market. However, other versions exist, which are closer to the original theatrical release.
- A DVD was produced by Warner Brothers HK for Hong Kong and South Korea. This contains the New Line Cinema version with additional abridged Cantonese and Mandarin soundtracks. It has an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, but includes no English subtitles.
- Warner Home Video also released a DVD in Japan of the Hong Kong version. This version contains the Hong Kong cut of the film. The dialogue is completely undubbed in a mono 2.0. However, its aspect ratio is cropped to 1.85:1 and contains no English subtitles.
- In Hong Kong, a VCD containing the Hong Kong version in Cantonese, with newly generated English and Chinese subtitles was also released. It's 2.35:1.
- A Blu-Ray was released in the United States on 6 October 2015.
It appears that a joint-distribution deal was made, with Thakral releasing the film in China, and Chinastar releasing it in Hong Kong. This version contains no credits, not even the film title, but is otherwise the Hong Kong version. There are no English subtitles and the ratio is roughly 2.10:1.
Malaysian distributor Speedy released a VCD featuring the Cantonese/English soundtrack. The subtitles are in three languages – English, Chinese and Malay. In comparison to the Hong Kong version, it cuts footage of strong language and offensive gestures. Unlike the Hong Kong release, during a scene in which Angelo insults Keung in the car-park, he keeps his trousers up. For some dialogue scenes, it actually dubs the normally English-responding characters into Cantonese. Although the correct ratio is 2:35:1, it is distorted into roughly 1:60:1.
The film had three separate DVD releases by Taiwanese distributor Funny. Two of these DVDs feature the Taiwanese Mandarin-dubbed version with embedded subtitles. One of these contains a Dolby 5.1 soundtrack only, whilst the other contains both Dolby and DTS soundtracks. The third release is a double-sided disc, featuring the Taiwanese Mandarin dub on one side and the English-dubbed New Line Cinema version on the other. Despite containing a dubbed soundtrack, these DVDs are the only releases to contain English subtitles for a Chinese version. All three are presented in 2.35:1.
4 Film Favorites
- Another DVD was released as part of the 4 Film Favorites: Martial Arts collection. The film is exactly like the New Line Cinema but put on the other side of the disc. The film is also attached to The Corruptor, Showdown in Little Tokyo, and Bloodsport.
When released in North America, Rumble in the Bronx received generally positive 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 79% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Most critics agreed that the plot and acting were lacking, but the action, stunts, and Chan's charm made up for it.
"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.
The movie was also featured in a 2016 video essay by Every Frame A Painting, calling attention to the fact that the movie was shot in Vancouver despite being set in the Bronx, where no mountain ranges are visible.
- "Rumble in The Bronx". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- "Rumble in the Bronx". BBFC. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- "JACKIE BE NIMBLE IN 'BRONX' ASIAN STAR 'RUMBLES' IN & GETS FIGHTING CHAN-CE TO CRACK U.S. MARKET". The New York Daily News. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- "Golden Harvest". AboutHK.Com.
- Jackie Chan. "Jackie's Aches and Pains: It Only Hurts When I'm Not Laughing". Random House. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
- Turan, Kenneth (1996-02-23). "Rumble' Gives Stunt King a Fighting Chance to Crack the U.S. Market". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- Holden, Stephen (1996-02-23). "FILM REVIEW;Jackie Chan vs. a Gang". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- Wilmington, Michael (1996-02-23). "Jackie Chan Enthralls With Daredevil Stunts In `Rumble In The Bronx'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- "Rumble in the Bronx (Hung fan kui) Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
- "Rumble In The Bronx :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. 23 February 1996. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
- Every Frame a Painting (2015-09-13), Vancouver Never Plays Itself, retrieved 2016-11-14