And teaches them a thing or two about being nice. I've been a Jackie Chan admirer since I first saw "The Cannonball Run" way back in 1981, but this was the first Chan movie I saw on the big screen. It's not moviemaking as fine art, it's moviemaking as fine fun.
An action comedy, "Rumble in the Bronx" features Jackie in the big city, New York (actually Vancouver, with mountains visible in the background in several scenes). It's a strangely clean and orderly version of the Big Apple, but no matter. Pretty soon, Our Man Chan fights a motorcycle gang, protects a store, helps a girl and her wheelchair-bound little brother, and pilots a hovercraft in a surprisingly uplifting ending.
Fresh and colorful, "Rumble" won't please the arthouse crowd, and probably doesn't even rank with Jackie's top flicks; I'll leave that for the hardcore Jackie fans to decide. But Jackie's joy in his work is contagious, and here, he's at his good-hearted best. Not only does he poke fun at himself in several scenes, but he also can't even stay mad at the kids who battered him senseless with bottles in an alley. Although the disk features a full-screen version, make sure you watch the widescreen DVD so you can enjoy all the delightful and creative fight choreography, including an amazing sequence where Jackie kicks butt with pinball machines. Also starring Bill Tung, who always seems to play "Uncle Bill" in Jackie's movies.