It’s Popzara’s Movie Time! Podcast!, where our own movie nerds Ethan Brehm and Nate Evans take you on an unscripted journey yakking and chatting about some of their favorite movie moments and cinematic scenes, from past and present, presented without snark and snobbery for your listening pleasure.
On deck in this episode is 1996’s Rumble in the Bronx, the Hong Kong import directed by Stanley Tong (Police Story 3: Super Cop, Vanguard) that finally – after many failed attempts – made Jackie Chan a bonafide box-office superstar in the West, and the most recognizable Asian celebrity since Bruce Lee. Its success would herald a huge shift not just in the martial arts genre, but in what audiences should expect from Hollywood. Action films would never be the same – and neither would their heroes.
But how you remember the film – and your fondness for it – may depend on what side of the world you grew up in, and what your exposure to Chan’s impressive oeuvre was prior to him rumbling on the dirty streets of Vancouver New York City. Eastern fans weened on Chan’s hyper-kinetic, lightning fast blend of action-comedy felt the film’s entreaties to Western audiences a slight letdown, but for millions of moviegoers who’d never seen such a cinematic spectacle before even a more subdued Jackie Chan felt like a revelation.
There are more opinions about Rumble in the Bronx than Jackie Chan has broken bones, but one thing’s for sure: we can all appreciate the joys of hilariously bad dubbing.