Review: ‘Hung Fan Kui’

The bod's still in shape, and the looks are still boyish, but 40-something Jackie Chan takes it a tad more gently in Rumble in the Bronx, an enjoyable comedy-actioner whose ooh-aah moments are mostly confined to the last few reels. This NY-set update of Bruce Lee's Return of the Dragon lacks the sheer oomph of Chan's best pics.

The bod’s still in shape, and the looks are still boyish, but 40-something Jackie Chan takes it a tad more gently in Rumble in the Bronx, an enjoyable comedy-actioner whose ooh-aah moments are mostly confined to the last few reels. This NY-set update of Bruce Lee’s Return of the Dragon lacks the sheer oomph of Chan’s best pics.

Chan is HK cop Keung, who comes to NY for the wedding of Uncle Bill (vet Bill Tung), who’s selling his business after 20 years. The store is bought by the glamorous Elaine (singer-actress Anita Mui), who can’t wait to get rid of it when a gang of local bikers gets heavy after she refuses to pay protection money.

In between the various set-tos and chases between Chan and the gang (including one in which he’s a target in a bottle-throwing contest), there’s a subplot about some stolen diamonds ending up in the wheelchair of a crippled Chinese kid, Danny, whom Chan befriends.

Pic climaxes with visual showpieces (like the supermarket being demolished and a Hovercraft run amok on the streets) that lack a human dimension, though Chan wins his usual stripes for death-defying stunts (one of which put him temporarily in a wheelchair).

Gothamites will be surprised to see their city surrounded by beautiful mountains and bays that look uncommonly like Vancouver. (Aside from a few establishing shots, whole pic was shot in B.C.)

[Film was released in the US in a 91-min. version, re-edited by the US distributor.]

Hung Fan Kui

Hong Kong

Production

Golden Harvest. Dir Stanley Tong; Producer Leonard K. C. Ho; Screenplay Edward Tang; Camera Jingle Ma; Editor Peter Cheung; Music [uncredited] Art Dir Oliver Wong

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1995. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Jackie Chan Anita Mui Bill Tung Francoise Yip Bai Cheun-wai Marc Akerstream
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