Rumble in the Bronx

One of my earliest memories of Asian Americans was from the movie: Rumble in the Bronx. It stared one of my favorite childhood actors, Jackie Chan. In the movie Jackie Chan plays Ma Hon Keung, a police officer from Hong Kong that comes to New York to visit family and to attend a wedding. All is going well until he encounters a biker gang and unintentionally starts a rivalry with them. Over the course of the movie the biker gang continuously attacks and harasses Jackie Chan and his family. Jackie Chan is able to defend himself and his family thanks to his masterful martial arts skills. At a point in the movie one of the members of the biker gang starts trouble a criminal organization know as the White Tiger when he takes their bag of diamonds. Unable to escape an encounter with the White Tiger with the stolen bag of diamonds, the gang member hide the diamonds in the wheelchair cushion of Jack Chan’s love interest’s little brother. This act ends up involving Jackie Chan in the conflict between the biker gang and the White Tiger. With help Jackie Chan is able to take down the White Tiger organization, what a hero!

Unbeknownst to the gang in the bringing of the movie, Jack Chan’s character masterful martial artist and with his skills he successfully defends himself from the biker gang’s attacks. After have watch the movie again recently I thought that the representation of Jackie Chan’s character in the movie was positive. Jackie Chan’s character was portrayed as the hero from a faraway land that beats ups the bad guys in an entertaining manner. When I was a child I thought that all police officers from Hong Kong were butt-kicking martial artists. As an adult I now know that isn’t true, so my perspective of Asian Americans has changed since the 1990’s.  Another major character was Nancy who was played by Françoise Yip was portrayed as the working loving and caring sister. Although Nancy is a active member in the biker gang and participates the in harassment of Jackie Chan she is a good person at heart therefore her representation was also positive.

I think that representation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in media has changed little bit from when I was a kid. I don’t think there hasn’t been a noticeable difference in the representation in media because AAPI’s are still playing roles like comedic relief or martial arts master.



2 thoughts on “Rumble in the Bronx

  1. Hi Eric–Good consideration of the positive representation of APAs that “Rumble in the Bronx” provided. It would have been interesting to expand on this a bit in terms of relating this to a few more concepts from the class. For example, did other characters in the movie at first respond to Jackie Chan’s character in stereotypical ways? What do you think allowed Chan to move beyond stereotypical APA roles?


  2. What bothered the most about this movie is that, while she is a good person (and a love interest for Keung) at heart, I also wondered why she joined the gang in the first place. Good persons usually don’t join a gang, let alone robbing people or beat people up. Especially when they have a younger brother, who is also good and decent, to take care for. I LOVE the movie, but it would have been awesome to see some backstory to some of these characters (Nancy comes to mind)…

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