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Film / Rumble in the Bronx

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Rumble in the Bronx is a 1996 film starring Jackie Chan, developed specifically as an attempt for him to break into the Western film market, after some failed attempts in the past which tried to mimic Stallone or Schwarzenegger-style serious action films. This film is unabashedly Jackie Chan-style; considering it opened at #1 at the box office, Chan evidently succeeded beautifully and joined the Hollywood mainstream.

Chan plays Keung, who travels to New York City to visit his uncle and help out with the grocery store. He finds himself having to defend the store, and eventually himself, from a local gang. Things get complicated when a very dangerous criminal group and the FBI get mixed up in the events.

Like most of his films, the story is just an excuse for some spectacular stunts and fast action. Among the highlights are him beating up the gang in their own warehouse and his creative use of appliances and sporting gear.


Tropes used in the film:

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Danny appears this way sometimes but it is justified since Nancy does neglect him to some degree due to her gang affiliation.
  • Betty and Veronica: Elaine and Nancy, respectively.
  • Big Bad: The head of the diamond-smuggling group, "White Tiger".
  • Big Brother Instinct: Keung gives Danny his Game Gear only minutes after meeting him. Too bad there's no game to go with it...
  • Clothing Damage: Played for Laughs. In the last scene, Keung, Nancy, and Elaine run over White Tiger with a hovercraft in the golf course, shredding the back of White Tiger's clothes and leaving him butt-naked.
  • Easily Forgiven: Keung seems rather forgiving of the gangmembers despite them attempting to murder him repeatedly, coming close a few times.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The Bronx gang and the diamond smugglers are enemies.
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  • Excuse Plot: The diamond heist really only serves the purpose of escalating the plot to justify more fight scenes.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: Nancy takes care of Keung after the alley scene and it inspires her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When one of the gang members gets shoved into a woodchipper.
  • Groin Attack: Keung received one in the form of a quick right knee from Nancy the stripper/lingerie model as part of a trap set up by the local street gang that she's a member of. The result and reaction are standard.
  • Improvised Weapon: A Jackie Chan staple. Though he's also on the receiving end when he's cornered in an alley and falls victim to beer bottles hit toward him with bats.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Keung's uncle manages to sleep through a drag race happening right outside his apartment. Keung, who is new to New York does not have this ability.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Nancy. Her gang is implied to have a change in heart after Keung beats them up but no long term scenario is explored.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Jackie broke his ankle jumping onto the hovercraft, so he made do filming the rest of the movie with long jeans and a sock over his cast that looked like a shoe.
  • ISO-Standard Urban Groceries: Keung is seen carrying a paper grocery bag on his way home before he is lured into an ambush. It even has the French Bread sticking out of the bag!
  • Literal Ass-Kissing: A crude punk among the gang tries to make Keung do this. The punk gets his bare ass whipped with a broken off car antenna for his trouble.
  • Mood Whiplash: What should have been the last straw when the diamond thieves outdo the gang in harassing the minimart by tearing down half the building turns into this, thanks to Elaine on the can. At first she just thinks someone else is waiting for her to finish, then half the building walls come off revealing her on the toilet in broad daylight, after which she goes into hysterics.
  • Motorcycle Dominoes: Nancy kicks over the gang's stacked bikes when escaping the nightclub.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: Very little of this film was shot anywhere near New York. They mostly fake it acceptably, but mountains show up in one or two shots.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Nancy.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Nancy is repentant for her actions in luring Keung into an ambush.
  • Naked People Are Funny: "White Tiger" gets his comeuppance when Keung drives a freaking liner-size hovercraft over him, leaving him in the dirt with severe Clothing Damage.
  • Naked People Trapped Outside: Not quite naked but Keung is trapped out of his uncle's apartment building in his underwear after protecting his uncle's car from the gang.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A few times. Keung fighting the gangsters after they stole some candy and some drinks leads to Disproportionate Retribution, him becoming friendly with the gang-leader's girlfriend leads to even more for both him and his boss. Finally, when he tries to help the gang, he does the most damage, leading the diamond thieves to them.
  • No Escape but Down: Invoked and defied when Keung is stuck on the roof of a carpark when the thugs are all around him - he takes a flying leap off the edge and lands in the fire escape of the building right beside it.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Delivered to Keung in the alleyway.
  • Oh, Crap!: Keung has a mild one on discovering the mirror he was posing (and picking his nose) in front of is actually one-way glass.
    • One of the diamond thieves isn't fazed by Keung hitting him, or even getting whacked in the face with a football helmet. Then Keung gets a giant pipe wrench, and he falls to his knees weeping.
  • Pac-Man Fever: The infamous cartridge-less Game Gear.
  • Promotion to Parent: Nancy and Danny's parents are implied to be dead or missing so Nancy is Danny's caretaker.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Facing down a Giant Mook Keung progresses to using different weapons against the guy, eventually getting up to smacking him around with a football helmet and hardly fazing him. Humorously, the guy backs down when Keung is given a giant monkey wrench.
  • Put on a Bus: When things start getting serious, the last we see of Danny is of him telling Keung to take care of his sister... while leaving on a bus. * A taxi, actually.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The injury mentioned above naturally meant that Jackie couldn't do any actual fighting during the climax, so it was retooled into a car chase.
  • Shaming the Mob: Keung does this to the gang. This, in combination with the murder of one of their members (see Gory Discretion Shot) by the criminal group, prompts a Heel–Face Turn by the gang's leader.
  • Shipper on Deck: Danny for Keung and Nancy.
  • Switch to English: Keung comes to America and meets up with his uncle. The two speak in Chinese for a while but his uncle soon asks, "How's your English?". Keung mentions that his English is passable so his uncle insists they speak it from that point on. The rest of the film is in English (though clearly dubbed, even with the people who were speaking English on set).
  • Token Evil Teammate: The gang that harasses Keung are all brutal thugs. Angelo, however, stands out from the rest of them. His antics cause his gang to laugh at him when he receives comeuppance but two of the gang die due to his actions.
  • Wire Fu: Averted, of course. Jackie broke his ankle for his trouble in this film.
  • Would Hurt a Child: A Giant Mook from the smuggling ring brutally beats up Danny, a little boy in a wheelchair.