"We're still at war, Plissken. We need him alive."

"I don't give a fuck about your war... or your president."

Rumble in the Bronx

In February of 1996, when RUMBLE IN THE BRONX was released in the U.S., it was an event. I don’t know if it was the zeitgeist or a concerted marketing effort or what, but it came along at the exact right moment for Jackie Chan to achieve his dream of hitting it big in the States. He’d tried twice before with American movies filmed in English: Robert Clouse’s THE BIG BRAWL a.k.a. BATTLE CREEK BRAWL in 1980 and James Glickenhaus’s THE PROTECTOR in 1985. Neither caught on. But he finally did it with a re-edited and dubbed version of one of his Hong Kong movies.

For some of us, we’d had a few years of fiending to see and learn about whatever Hong Kong action cinema we could. Trying to find rentals or bootlegs of subtitled John Woo, maybe Ringo Lam, THE HEROIC TRIO, FONG SAI YUK, THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR, or anything Jackie.

Most of those were about a certain poetry, a certain vibe, a mix of style and cool and honor and brotherhood and violence that seemed thrilling compared to what we got at home. But the excitement of Jackie was entirely about the miracle of human movement. A guy who can flip and run up walls and jump off buildings and onto or over moving vehicles. A daredevil and a silent comedian and a kung fu master all rolled into one. He wasn’t cool in the same way that Chow Yun Fat was. He was kind of a dork. But also a god.

Which, in a different sense, describes Quentin Tarantino when he presented Jackie with a lifetime achievement award at the 1995 MTV Movie Awards. The director was still flying high off the popularity of PULP FICTION, playing George Clooney’s brother in the movie that made George Clooney a movie star, and having a big influence on what movies people were excited about at the time. But also he pronounced it “Jackie Chon” multiple times. He compared Jackie to Buster Keaton, mentioned him doing his own stunts, and showed a clip reel that (though set to fuckin “Kung Fu Fighting”) seemed like a revelation if you hadn’t seen most of those movies.

I’m sure I’d seen Jackie in CANNONBALL RUN, and plenty of people knew him going back to the ‘70s. I don’t remember if I’d seen DRUNKEN MASTER II by this time or not. I do remember that THE BIG BRAWL was the first one I could find at a video store, and everybody said it was terrible, but it was the biggest dose of Jackie I had seen, so I loved it. And it had a great theme song.

New Line Cinema – who also released THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, LAST MAN STANDING, THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT and SET IT OFF that year – gave RUMBLE IN THE BRONX a major theatrical release in 1,736 theaters. I’m not sure if any other dubbed movie has had a release of that size, but since it takes place in the U.S. and Jackie does his own voice you get used to it fast. It opened at #1, making more than double other new releases BEFORE AND AFTER, MARY REILLY or UNFORGETTABLE. The #2 movie was Woo’s BROKEN ARROW, in its third week. America was ready.

Jackie plays Keung, who has come to New York for his uncle Bill (Bill Tung, also Uncle Bill in the POLICE STORY series, but this is different)’s wedding, and to help with the sale of his super market to Elaine (Anita Mui, who had been in MIRACLES and DRUNKEN MASTER 2 with Chan). And then there’s, you know… rumbles.

He agrees to stick around after the wedding to help Elaine get up and running. And I am very happy to report that this is the kind of movie where helping at a supermarket means getting into a huge kung fu brawl against one of our famous American gangs of quasi-punk biker shoplifter bullies. His actions are honestly not very helpful to the business – he massively damages multiple shelves and the products on them just because a guy didn’t pay for two drinks, and the incident begins a war that culminates in the destruction of the entire building. But it’s a cool fight and the other employees compliment him and stuff.

Uncle Bill borrows his friend (Jamie Luk, DIRTY HO)’s antique car for the wedding, and makes the dumb mistake of parking it on the street overnight. Luckily Keung is awake to notice two gangs having a motorcycle race over the parked cars, so he slides down the fire escape wearing a onesie and acts as a human shield. This causes Nancy (Francoise Yip, BLACK MASK, BLADE: TRINITY, ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM, THE PREDATOR), girlfriend of supermarket bullying gang leader Tony (Marc Akerstream, also stunt coordinator) to lose the race, so she helps set him up for a beat down.

Theory: BATMAN & ROBIN’s motorcycle race scene, introducing Batgirl, was inspired by the one in RUMBLE IN THE BRONX, introducing Nancy.

Meanwhile, Keung has befriended Bill’s wheelchair-bound adolescent neighbor Danny (Morgan Lam, “Boy In Lobby,” CRYING FREEMAN) and comes over to check on him since he seems to always be left alone by his older sister/guardian. Keung doesn’t realize that the absent sister is Nancy until she overhears her little brother telling Keung about her and runs in crying, promising to be a better person. She’s touched that Keung doesn’t hold it against her that she lured him in an alley for her friends to horrifically pelt with glass bottles until he was left bloodied on the concrete, unable to stand up. That’s called mercy, right there.

Her boyfriend Tony fucking sucks, but the real piece of shit in the gang is bleach-blond Angelo (Garvin Cross, MAXIMUM CONVICTION), who even those guys hate. In fact they’re so annoyed by him they stop doing the bottle throwing thing to get away from him. Total party pooper.

A combination of huge, huge coincidences and Angelo being a worthless fuckhead get Tony, Nancy, Danny and Keung all into huge trouble. See, (coincidence #1) he happens to be on the sidewalk when members of the more legitimate organized crime type of gang run by “White Tiger” (Kris Lord) get into a car wreck. And he makes the poor decision to go over to the car and swipe their bag of stolen diamonds and then run off into a building where (coincidence #2) he finds Danny’s wheelchair and stashes the diamonds in the cushion. A whole lot of bad luck going on in this rumble.

Most of my favorite kung fu movies have legitimately good stories and have something to say. But I also enjoy this era of contemporary Jackie vehicles, which rely on entirely ridiculous plots to string together great fights and stunts. After co-directing DRUNKEN MASTER II, a great achievement, Chan reunited with his SUPERCOP director Stanley Tong, who ended up doing many of his more stunt-centric movies.

This time the stunts include, famously, a chase where he jumps from the top of a parking garage to an apartment balcony across the street. Tong supposedly did it first, and Jackie got it on his first attempt. (In the late ‘90s I visited a friend going to school in Vancouver and she pointed out the balcony where it happened. It was just a normal balcony, but seemed like a holy site at the time.) A more casually amazing stunt is the foot chase where he gets blocked in by a car so he runs up it, dives headfirst into the sun roof with his legs poking up, and a motorcycle drives over the car, between his legs, and he pulls in and gets pushed out of the car by the driver. Most of that in one shot. Incredible.

But my favorite part of the movie is definitely when he gets mad and goes to the evil biker lair to tell them where they can stick it. It’s like a warehouse made into a bar/rave where they play pool in lingerie, lay in hammocks, lift weights, play vintage pinball machines, listen to Ministry, etc. So he picks up their receiver/record player stack and throws it, which has the effect of turning off their music, and he waves his finger and announces, “YOU ARE ALL GARBAGE!”

This leads to a duel with Tony which leads to taking on the entire gang, and this is where we get the highest level of Jackie Chan Stunt Team choreography. It seems like each individual movement involves a cool idea or gimmick or prop: spin on corner of counter, land in La-Z-Boy, slide footstool to knock over attacker, tip chair backwards, somersault into other chair that rolls to refrigerator, spin and stand up and open refrigerator door into guy, then freezer door into his face, dodge pool stick attack and roll chair into guy, run over and knock over speakers, jump to avoid rolling refrigerator, land on top of refrigerator, on and on and on. I like the part where he swings open a refrigerator door, knocks a TV off the refrigerator, turns and punches a guy while spinning to kick another guy, throws first guy into the fridge, kicks a different guy, closes the door, and that’s all in one little shot.

This fight goes on for a while before Tony basically gives up: “Okay, that’s enough,” and Keung literally waves his finger again and gives them a mini-lecture that includes, “Don’t you know you are the scum of society!” But before he leaves he turns and says in Cantonese, “I hope next time when we meet, we will not be fighting each other,” which one member (Ailen Sit, MERCENARIES FROM HONG KONG, SUPERCOP 2) translates for Tony.

“Did he really mean that?”

“Yeah.”

And sure enough, they team up against White Tiger! So the movie does have a nice attitude. There’s also a part where Nancy says, “I need some time to change.”

Another kind of sweet thing comes out of the uncomfortable moment when Keung meets his aunt-to-be Whitney (Carrie Cain-Sparks, writer/director/star of THE SPY WHO BONED US [2004]) and is surprised that she’s black. She’s just very affectionate and doesn’t notice. I’m sure the dubbing is part of the problem, but it’s that thing you see sometimes where another culture takes the racial stereotypes from our movies and makes them seem even more cartoonish. Still, it’s nice that when Uncle Bill realizes Keung’s surprise he says, “Hey, what can I say? Welcome to America.” And that’s the end of it.

One complaint I have about Keung: he believes the ponytail suit and tie thugs who tell him they’re the FBI… even though he sees them driving around in limos. So he calls them and endangers everybody!

There were two main things everybody would say about Jackie back then. First of all, that he did all (or almost all) his stunts and had injured himself a million times and keeps going. Second, that he was different because of comedy – he had tried to be a Bruce Lee ripoff, but didn’t stand out until he started adding humor, making faces like he hurt his hand when he punched a guy, etc.

So in retrospect it’s interesting to me that this movie that finally broke him into the Hollywood mainstream doesn’t lean much on the second one. There are a few straight up gags, like the part where he flexes for the mirror, and then pops a pimple, not realizing that it’s a two-way with a meeting going on inside. And during the big waterskiing sequence he makes faces like he’s in pain and grabs his butt a few times – really not in a muggy kind of way, but you could say it’s lightly subverting the normal tough guy stuff.

And yet it does the traditional, always enjoyable action hero thing of setting up how awesome he is: mentioning that he’s won a bunch of tournaments, showing him on a wooden kung fu dummy, first demonstrating that he still keeps up his skills, then speeding up into a hypnotic tapping like a drummer showing off on the double bass. He casually does handstand pushups. And when we meet Danny he immediately worships Keung, declaring “You’re #1!” in his charmingly ridiculous dubbed voice.

The finale is small beans compared to the modern approach where the entire human race and possibly other planets are in peril in every other movie, but it’s spectacular by the standards of “they really did this shit”: the White Tiger gang drives a hovercraft through town, and various hovercraft related destruction and shenanigans take place.

At a point when I was thinking “There really aren’t many jokes in this” they suddenly had one that made me laugh: they suddenly cut to a rich douchebag driving his girlfriend around in a Lamborghini Countache, just in time to be run over. It gets scraped up, not crushed, and I love that his reaction is to yell, “Oh god, my car. Look what they’ve done!” He doesn’t seem to have time for questions about the presence of the hovercraft.

On the other hand, when it’s barreling toward a hair metal band doing a street concert the drummer’s reaction is to point and yell “HOVERCRAFT!” (And then there’s a gag where it spins around so they keep on rocking and let it blow their hair around.)

It has almost a “That’ll do, pig” ending, but a very dumb one. The hovercraft runs over White Tiger, he’s left laying naked with grass in his mouth, they say, “Yay!,” cut to outtake montage. I mean, I think that’s a good level of self-awareness. That’s as much plot resolution as anybody needs.

I always think of Miramax/Dimension as the company that imported the ’90s Hong Kong movies to the U.S., but New Line actually beat them to Jackie. Just barely. They were snatching up the rights to his movies around the same time, and had to make a legal agreement about spacing out their releases. Miramax still tried to cheat and release SUPERCOP first, but they lost in court and had to wait until July. New Line also did FIRST STRIKE and MR. NICE GUY, and they got Jackie to star in their smash hit RUSH HOUR series – RUSH HOUR 2 is still the company’s highest grossing movie after the LORD OF THE RINGS/HOBBIT trilogies and IT part 1 – so they made out pretty good.

Which brings up an important question: why the fuck didn’t they try FREDDY VS. JASON VS. JACKIE CHAN?

This entry was posted on Monday, April 20th, 2020 at 9:43 am and is filed under Action, Martial Arts, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

35 Responses to “Rumble in the Bronx”

  1. Actually, “Chon” is the correct pronunciation of Chan’s name in Cantonese. Confusingly, nobody calls Jackie by his real name “Chan” in Chinese on any occasion – he is popularly referred to as Sing Lung (Cantonese) or Cheng Lung (Mandarin), which literally translates to as “becoming the dragon” to the point that I have never heard his real name being uttered anywhere for decades except in the English language world.

  2. I don’t think I’ve seen this movie since Summer ‘96, when its inherent jankiness (enhanced by the full “pan-and-scan VHS on a tiny square TV in the corner of somebody’s bedroom“ experience) was beyond what I was capable of appreciating at the time. It marked the historic first time I tried out this Jackie Chan thing everyone was talking about and had the sneaking suspicion that it wasn’t for me. This has become an occurrence that repeats itself at least once a decade, but I keep trying and come a little closer every time. I’ll get there someday.

    I still hold that America fucked up when it didn’t embrace THE PROTECTOR, though.

  3. You’re right, this was an event upon release. I remember while in college a bunch of us went to opening night and the crowd was amped. I just could not get past the Vancouver-ness of it all, though. Seeing those mountains in the background of “The Bronx” took me out of the movie. Jackie’s great, but I don’t think I’ve seen this one since then.

  4. I appreciate that information, but when someone purposely uses a pronunciation they know is contrary to how it is pronounced in their culture, even if it’s correct, that makes them “kind of a dork,” as I said. Especially in QT’s case, where it’s not as if he’s using other Cantonese or knew much about it at the time.

    I say this lovingly and with full knowledge that I pronounce Tsui differently than my friends based on having read how it’s supposedly pronounced once a long time ago.

  5. “when someone purposely uses a pronunciation they know is contrary to how it is pronounced in their culture“

    I call that “Alex Trebeking.”

  6. flyingguillotine

    April 20th, 2020 at 11:36 am

    I saw this in the theater, and loved it. Similarly, I was hunting for anything HK-related I could get my hands on, and it was a delight to finally be able to watch one of these films on a big screen.

    re: pronunciation… Like a lot of people, I pronounced Tsui Hark phonetically; “Soo-ey Harrrrk.” Until a friend of mine did some (tangential) work for/with him, and let me know it’s closer to “Chway Hahk.”

  7. Seeing this was one of my favorite movie-going experiences. I went to a late night showing with one of my absolute best friends and his two older siblings, and the theater was packed and absolutely rowdy. I rewatched it not too long ago, and it still holds up. The action sequences really are some of Chan’s best. And I love that he teams up with the gang towards the end. I had forgotten about that twist. It also inspired me to make this gif:

  8. What do you all think of Jackie’s recent films? KUNG FU YOGA, RAILROAD TIGERS, BLEEDING STEEL, THE FOREIGNER (The best of the lot).

    They are ranked very low in the pantheon of Jackie’s films for me. But it doesn’t bother me much. He’s already given us so much classic stuff.

  9. I’m really surprised at myself that I DIDN’T adopt the smug “I liked him before he was popular!” stance when this hit. I was still in high school and that would have seemed very appropriate. But I was really lucky to see the uncut version the year before in a Chinatown movie theater. And DRUNKEN MASTER II the year before that. The buzz about Hong Kong films must have been building because during this same period, a few of my local AMC’s programmed a mini-festival so I also caught up with CITY HUNTER, POLICE STORY 3, and CRIME STORY.

    As for the whole thing about Chan using humor to differentiate himself, maybe it’s a little overstated? There’s always bits of slapstick and mugging throughout his movies but they always get kinda serious as they build towards their climax. What’s more consistent about Chan is his underdog persona. He’s almost never the best fighter or maybe he IS good but way outnumbered and it’s his grit that carries him through. So he’ll resort to drinking industrial alcohol to enhance his drunken boxing or chew up mouthfuls of hot peppers and then spit the juices onto his hands so he can blind his adversaries.

    FELIX: I agree, THE FOREIGNER was the best of that bunch. KUNG FU YOGA was inoffensive, the editing rhythms of RAILROAD TIGERS aggravated me to no end (and it’s cheap pandering to Chinese nationalism), and BLEEDING STEEL was just bad all around.

  10. BLEEDING STEEL is almost Power Rangers show bad.

    What i’ve seen so far of VANGUARD is not encouraging.

  11. It’s hard to say if we got smug over here because Chan hit it big in USA when he dumbed it down (that’s how we saw it back then) or because of the usual condescending attitude towards Americans. The movie was great. But as Vern said, we had already seen all his stuff from NEW FIST OF FURY to DRUNKEN MASTER II. So when Tarantino stood there at the MTV Awards and kicked in open doors, it took a while before we could embrace RUMBLE without adding the old “I liked him better in his earlier stuff”.

  12. The hype was so big I couldn’t wait to see it. Then the theater in my college town didn’t get it! I had to wait another 3 weeks til spring break to see it at home.

    It exceeded expectations. I couldn’t believe the way Jackie climbed walls. The trailer featured clips of Hong Kong movies it took me forever to find. I thought Supercop was going to be one but the clip was from Police Story 2 which took me longer to find (when he’s on top of the bus, jumps over a sign and ducks under another.)

  13. In a lot of ways this movie sucks, but in all the RIGHT ways it’s amazing. Jackie knew this was his last chance for American gold so he threw everything into this one. Just wall to wall stunts and fights. His movies for a number of years before might have been one or the other…Drunken Master 2 was full of fights but not a lot of huge stunts, while Supercop was mostly stunts but very little fighting (which I hated cause as a Police Story sequel, they are built on raw vicious combat).

    I agree with Al T., comedy with Chan is overblown to a large extent. Like, Police Story has a bunch of slapstick, then there’s not really comedy for the last half hour and then has the most vicious insane violent brawl ever. Same with Drunken Master 2, at some point the comedy pretty much ends. As with Supercop, Dragons Forever, etc.

    In some ways I think Rumble kind of keeps the comedy at a certain level throughout. The hovercraft scene has tons of gags in it, and not typical Jackie gags where it’s him making a face, just big goofy bits like the metal band mentioned. And even the big fight in the warehouse with the gang, it’s more of a comedy fight than anything…it’s not super vicious and every little segment in there is around a clever bit. So it’s not like jokey, but it IS Jackie hitting guys with fridge doors and doing fast exchanges trying to grab a bottle, etc. Clever and funny and exciting. I think it’s one of his best fight scenes.

  14. Is this the most high-profile dubbed film in the US/UK from the last 40 years?

    MR NICE GUY is my favourite Chan film, mostly for sentimental reasons, but I do remember enjoying it a lot.

    The most recent Chan film I’ve seen is POLICE STORY 2013 (NEW NEW POLICE STORY I guess) which sounded like a dream mash-up of Hong Kong action and SAW, but was actually a pretty dull melodrama with some queasy social conservatism thrown into the mix.

  15. If I remember correctly, this:

    Jackie Chan Documentary (1989) - Son of the Incredibly Strange Film Show

    Jonathan Ross looks at the work of comedy martial-arts movie actor, director & stuntman, Jackie Chan. This was episode 1 of 'Son of the Incredibly Strange Fi...

    Is where Jackie fully met the unwashed masses in the US (it was played on some cable channel I didn’t get like Bravo or something in like ’90)

    It seemed like Jackie went from unknown, to all anyone could talk about pretty much overnight (at least in my high school)

    It seems crazy to me it took six more years for him to have a film released in the US proper.

  16. Ah yes. The black album of Jackie Chan movies.

  17. I discovered Jackie first by a kid letting me borrow his copy of “JACKIE CHAN’S POLICE FORCE” after I raved about MORTAL KOMBAT and he did the thing where he went ‘Pfft… here’s a REAL martial arts film!’ Never looked back. When this one came out I was just beginning my obnoxious film snob phase so, of course, even though I enjoyed it, I looked down on it because I enjoyed his other movies I saw already. For peak embarrassment, I even preferred MR. NICE GUY, a virtual but very watered-down remake, to this one. I have since seen the errors of my ways and acknowledge this one as awesome and definitely way better than MR. NICE GUY.

    jojo: “It seems crazy to me it took six more years for him to have a film released in the US proper.”

    From what I read it was a combination of him wanting the right script and also New Line Cinema didn’t think Jackie could carry an English-language movie with his, perfectly fine, command of the language. It’s why MR. NICE GUY was shot in English to prove that he could.

  18. Woof, Mr. Nice Guy…what a horrible movie. At first I thought Jackie being a chef could be cool, imagine the fights in kitchens and bakeries and what he’d do…then it just had a generic story with no ending. What a horrible piece of garbage but does have that one great fight scene. I usually peg that one as being the beginning of Jackie’s slow slide into crapdom. It’s not like he had good stories before, but now his stories were REALLY terrible and, unlike his previous movies with bad stories, didn’t always have the fights to prop them up.

    I remember seeing Police Story on video after I had seen that Incredibly Strange Film Show episode by a film buddy, and I was knocked the FUCK out. I originally didn’t even want to watch the Film Show episode becuause I was like “why do I want to see some kung fu guy, who cares about that hokey shit.” And my bud was like shut the fuck up. And whenever I showed even the opening of Police Story to people they couldn’t believe it. Luckily I had a friend who had an Asian girlfriend and they had a few of Jackie’s other movies like Miracles…problem is since they were from China the tapes didn’t have subtitles, but who cares. So I watched Police Story and Miracles all summer long and never knew what they were saying in Miracles. Man, Miracles has amazing fights.

  19. Love MIRACLES. It’s his personal favorite movie he made and the one he’s most proud of. You see him saying POLICE STORY a lot but that’s his favorite straight-up action movie he made, MIRACLES is his real baby.

  20. Same here. I know it better under the title MR CANTON & LADY ROSE.

  21. Yep, that’s probably the true title I think. You can tell Jackie really put the effort into that flick. He’s never been a really interesting director outside of his fights…take out the action and there’s no reason to watch a Jackie flick at ALL. But on that one, you can see the extra effort he was putting in with crane shots and long takes and such. It actually had a story they didn’t ad-lib on a napkin.

    And some people may be like “yeah but if you take out the fights why would anyone watch an action movie so that’s unfair” I say pshaw. If there were no fights The Warriors would still be a great movie. The Raid would work as a thriller. The Matrix would be good. Obviously you need the fights for the full package, but they’re not just some rickety framework cobbled together to have fight scenes.

  22. Miracles is his best movie and has his best fights. It helps that it’s based on Capra but still, it’s every bit Jackie.

    I hope this is the beginning of a Jackie Chan series!

  23. Same here/ Would love to read Vern’s take on Jackie’s films.

  24. Sorry guys, but DRAGONS FOREVER is his best movie. And has his best fights.

  25. The ACTUAL answer to Jackie’s best movie AND fights is Drunken Master 2 of course. When Miramax released that I was able to even take my normal friends not into this shit and they couldn’t believe that last 15 minutes.

    I do love Dragon’s Forever. The Jackie/Benny fight from Meals on Wheels is their supposed classic but I think Dragons Forever is a much better one. The Jackie and Sammo combo is one I always loved, Sammo was able to bring his actual filmmaker skill to the movie and he also brought out a more brutal side of Jackie which we didn’t get a lot.

  26. Hard disagree on MR. NICE GUY. I rewatched that last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. And the fight at the construction site is on par (and maybe better than) the fight in the gang’s headquarters in RITB.

    Minor quibble in the review because I watched this last week and was reading about it. Yes, apparently Tong did many of the stunts, including the roof jump, but we should add the caveat that he did them with wire assistance. Basically to show Jackie that it was doable, and Jackie then did it with no wires.

    Source 1 – Before Chan jumped the alley on film, Tong jumped it first. Tong, however, did use a harness and wires—which Chan apparently scrapped not to make the stunt more realistic, but because he felt that, with the presence of nearby power lines, they actually made it more dangerous.

    Source 2 – The most chilling stunt in ‘Rumble’ comes when Jackie, trapped on a rooftop by pursuers, leaps to a balcony on an adjoining building — a drop of fifteen feet to a three-foot target 26-feet away. “That’s a small target,” says director Stanley Tong. “You really can’t even see where you’re aiming before you jump.” After trying the stunt himself with a cable harness, the director concluded that the leap wouldn’t look real, and might even be more dangerous if it were done that way. Instead, he had a 24-foot platform built on the second floor for the star to rehearse on, enabling him to calibrate the exact path he would have to run before leaping. The path was then marked with tape on the roof of the building, and Jackie Chan executed the blind leap with nothing but an airbag to cushion his fall if he missed and fell eight floors to the ground.

    Vern – I assume you are going to review Stanley Tong’s MR. MAGOO next??

  27. The part that always cracks me up is when Angelo tries to steal the cushion at the park, and he disguises himself as this square guy in pastel clothes (complete with the sweater draped around his neck) and a by bicycle helmet. It’s such a dumb Looney Tunes plan for what amounts to him waiting for the kid to be alone, dumping him out of the chair, and running away with the cushion.

  28. I remember reading about Jackie in a Time magazine article about John Woo when Hard Target came out. That and the joke in Demolition Man about thats how Sandra Bullock learned how to fight. That was my gateway.

    A few years later my friend was telling me about how awesome he is, then the next day I saw a trailer for this, attached to Woo’s Broken Arrow.

    We immediately made plans for opening night and loved it. The next day i went to my video store and discovered they had some imported flicks of his, and i got the Police Story where my mind was blown once again to discover Stallone ripped off the opening of Tango & Cash!

    Anyway, Jackie”s the best.

    Anybody see the one with Chan and Knoxville that looks like the Rundown and was directed by Renny Harlin?

  29. SKIPTRACE. Your enjoyment of it is based entirely on how forgiving you are of later-day Jackie. I am pretty forgiving so I thought it was okay-ish like most of his recent output. If you are not forgiving… maybe skip it…

  30. It’s harmless. Same with KUNG FU YOGA.

  31. I find a lot of his modern day films to be enjoyable. He is just generally enjoyable you watch to me.

  32. What used to set his movies apart was if he got bruised in the fights or not. If Sammo directed everybody got bloody. I tend to prefer that approach.

  33. The sad thing about Skiptrace is if it didn’t come along this time in “Lazy Jackie cranks em out” career timeline, it could have been amazing. Considering you have Jackie plus Johnny Knoxville who was doing Jackie level stuns in Action Point. If they really tried, and came up with an awesome story, then did some old school amazing stunts which they could have done…oh well, at this point Jackie doesn’t care.

  34. I actually remember seeing this in theaters back in 1996 through movie-hopping. Ah, the days when I used to pretty much the day at a theater (or at least a whole afternoon). Anyway, being that I was 9 at the time, I will always remember feeling kind of funny at the sight of Nancy, especially during the cage-dancing scene. When you’re a prepubescent boy, the sights of hot women give off some awkward feelings. Even around that same time, it was the same feeling I got when I saw Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” video.

    As for the movie itself, I remember enjoying it a lot, but even as a child at the time, I thought something was off with the way they were talking. I don’t mean the dubbing of non-English speakers, but from what I had heard, in the original cut, a lot of the movie was in English but even the English dialogue was dubbed with some bad dubbing. Hell, I get a laugh when hearing Danny complain about his cushion. One part in particular that made me laugh was during the hovercraft chase scene. It was when it was on the beach and there was that toddler girl in the middle of the sand castle. Jackie picks up the little girl and the mother yells “My baby! My baby!” in such a hilarious dub and then Jackie throws an obvious doll at the woman.

    Another thing that I recall was that though I watched this in theaters fully in 1996, I remember catching parts of it on TNT in the early-2000s (I believe), but I think the second full viewing occurred in 2004 when I watched it on Encore. One thing that I will always remember from what I saw it on Encore was during the fight scene at the gang’s hideout was the set of pinball machines. One pinball machine that I noticed had a sexy woman standing in front of a bowling lane on it. What stood out about it was that I remembered being left with the wife or girlfriend of a friend of my dad’s way back when, when my dad and his friend went to go do something. This was years before this movie, by the way. I remember some other kids were present and on the back porch of the house was that exact pinball machine. Being that I was a little kid, the design on the machine was something that I remembered. I didn’t play, but the other kids did. Just a little fun fact.

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