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Pet Sins June 2000

Rumble in the Bronx

Jackie Chan and Anita Mui star in this Hong Kong action film re-released in the US.


Jackie Chan comes to the US from Hong Kong to attend his uncle's wedding. His uncle is the owner of a supermarket in the Bronx. He plans to sell his supermarket and retire with his new wife. When Jackie first enters his uncle's supermarket, he sees a Chinese woman inspecting the shelves. He assumes that this is his aunt-to-be and greets her as such. His uncle arrives to correct his mistake. His new aunt, a black woman, greets Jackie heartily. Seeing the shock on Jackie's face, his uncle explains, "This is America."

After his assumptions are shaken, Jackie does grow to be quite fond of his new aunt. This is possibly the first screen depiction of an Asian-man-black-woman couple, though they are minor characters. If this is the case, the Hong Kong film industry beat the US movie world to it. Most of US movies with interracial couples focus on white men and women of color.

Then enters Anita Mui, a businesswoman who buys the supermarket from Jackie's uncle. At the wedding attended by black and Asian guests, Anita Mui persuades Jackie to help at the supermarket for a couple of weeks. Action starts when the supermarket is attacked and ransacked by a gang consisting of European, African, Latino and Asian Americans. This "UN gang" is an unrealistic depiction of American life. Then the HK movie industry is not the only one guilty of this -- American-made movies have portrayed a disproportionate number of multiethnic gangs.