Film Commentary: Rumble In The Bronx Essay Sample
The emancipation of Jackie Chan from a “kid to dragon” (Farquhar ch. 13) provides a proper backdrop in understanding his first foray into Hollywood via Rumble in the Bronx. Chan himself was a product of hard work that involved immense pain and countless training sessions – factors that enabled him to evolve from a vulnerable boy to an almost immortal personality of martial arts mastery and technique. Such progression, however, is not just limited to the persona Chan has held for himself throughout the years, as it also extends to his artistry as an actor representing the popularity of martial arts films in the West – one that was preceded by the equally venerated Bruce Lee (Farquhar ch. 13). Thus, Rumble in the Bronx represents the elevation of Chan as an actor to an international level, which dutifully highlighted his Hong Kong origins as his martial arts prowess, coupled with a distinct brand of hilarity, was successfully showcased before the discerning yet powerful Western market.
The notable transition of Chan from rural Chinese settings and motifs to the asphalt and concrete-laden universe of the urban West was, in itself, a test to the appeal of his artistry before Western audiences (Farquhar ch. 13). Yet, marvelously enough, the fact that Chan has already become a dragon in terms of his martial arts acting – one that he has thoroughly developed in his earlier films, has led him to succeed within a milieu where typically Western-looking people predominate. No sense of awkwardness or overt exoticness has emanated from the travails of Chan in a quintessentially Western conurbation – New York City, where Rumble in the Bronx took place. The martial arts-kind of humor Chan has long stood out for did not play out in a kitschy manner within the rather polished yet rugged landscapes of New York City, given his character, Ma Hon Keung, has naturally imbibed his artistry within a largely Western setting, themed by his mischievous yet helpful demeanor in taking out the villains under White Tiger. As a dragon from then-relatively mellow Hong Kong, Chan became an even larger one in New York City (Farquhar ch. 13).
Farquhar, Mary. "Jackie Chan: Star Work as Pain and Triumph." Chinese Film Stars. Eds. Mary Farquhar and Yingjin Zhang. United Kingdom: Routledge, 2000. Chapter 13. Kindle file.