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Rumble In The Bronx Review

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Jacki Chan goes to New York to attend his uncle's wedding. When their grocery store comes under attack from local thugs, they get an ass-whipping from the martial arts expert.

★★★★★

In his fifth movie, martial arts superstar Chan plays a Hong Kong tourist who comes to New York (looking suspiciously like Toronto) to attend his uncle's wedding. Plans go awry when his family's South Bronx grocery store comes under attack from a gang of street thugs and the mob. Chan, though, in inimitably frenzied style, sorts things out by beating them all up and, erm... that's about it.

Criticising a Jackie Chan film is a little like calling the Queen Mum a daft old bat. It wins you no friends among the hordes of adoring fans and nobody else much cares. The only people who are going to pay to see Rumble In The Bronx are the kind of vaguely worrying individuals who howl with delight over such fare as Half A Loaf Of Kung Fu and who couldn't give a toss about plot, dialogue, character development or strong production values as long as Chan is throwing himself around like a pea in a spin-dryer and kicking lots of bad guys in the face.

Judged by any rational standards, Rumble is absolute bollocks. But judged by the irrational standards that Chan movies demand, it harbours one specific reward: Chan's astonishing facility for physical action.

He has been described by aficionados far less hysterical than Quentin Tarantino, as the successor to Chaplin and Keaton. The superbly choreographed fight sequences and death-defying stunts in Rumble support the comparisons. Chan is nothing less than a genius: balletic, inventive, extremely funny and utterly fearless. Such a shame, then, that the surrounding film is so relentlesly shoddy.

Judged by any rational standards, Rumble is absolute bollocks, but it at least has some pretty darned amazing Chan fight scenes.