LET’S GET READY TO RUUUUMMMBBLLEEE!
Sorry drinkers, it needed to be said. Here we are with another BAAM and boy is it a doozy. We all know what it’s like to wrap up a long day at the office and need a drink. But, if you’re anything like me, every now and then that craving for a great craft beer comes along with a sudden, inexplicable desire to watch kung fu. Moreso than any other genre of film, kung fu inspires the same levels of desire and immediate satisfaction as chocolate. Or Mexican food. And so, tonight I present you with Jackie Chan’s mid-nineties classic Rumble in the Bronx and The Bruery’s Mischief Belgian Strong. So let’s rumble, shall we?
As a casual connoisseur of Jackie Chan films, I feel obligated to educate you readers before we dive into the actual review. Prior to the 1995 release of Rumble in the Bronx, Chan was largely a Hong Kong cinematic phenomenon with little penetration in the American market. While he was already quite famous in Asia, Rumble in the Bronx marked his first major foray into American cinema. After Rumble, Jackie Chan became synonymous with kung fu and was instantly an American movie star. So with that out of the way, let’s discuss how absolutely crazy this movie is.
Okay, brief plot summary: Jackie Chan (aka Keung) arrives in New York City for his Uncle’s wedding. Soon thereafter, he finds himself at odds with a local street gang (the most racially diverse and strangely dressed gang you will ever see). This gang finds Chan frustrating and thus decide to make his life utterly miserable. Somewhere in the middle of the movie, after Chan beats submission into the gang and then ends up entangled in a diamond heist-gone-bad. This then escalates into a chase/fight on hovercraft. Oh and along the way he falls in love with the girlfriend of the gang leader who seems totally cool with all this. Also the entire film takes place over the course of about three days, though the film would have you think otherwise.
As absurd as this film is, it is important to note that no one watches a Jackie Chan movie for the plot or the acting. They watch it for the action. And the action is kick-ass. For me, it isn’t even that Jackie Chan is totally baller, it’s his use of the environment around him. As staged as it all is, there is something utterly exhilarating about seeing Jackie Chan using everything at his disposal, from chairs to refrigerators to crutches to skiis. Jackie Chan is a master of incorporating his surroundings into the action. Ironically enough, this adds a certain level of believability to his largely unbelievable actions. While it is obvious to every viewer how choreographed every move is, it is still fun (and logical) to see him push chairs in the way of his enemies in order to best them. Though it doesn’t explain why the gang had so many refrigerators in storage….
For the record I truly do love this movie, but I should point out the absurdity of it all. For one, everyone is dubbed into English. Even the people speaking English are dubbed into English. And if they weren’t dubbed, then their acting is even worse than I thought. Good lord is it terrible. Also, it is important to note that New York City has no mountains. Such are the pitfalls of trying to use Vancouver as NYC. On a similar theme, what Bronx does this take place in? Yes, the Bronx is a racially diverse borough but seriously, where the F@&% does this movie take place? It’s a weird mix of urban slum, lawless subway system, public beach and private golf course. I just don’t understand. But as I said before, you don’t go into a Jackie Chan movie, or any kung fu movie for that matter, to pick over the plot or the setting. You watch it for the raw, visceral action. And Rumble in the Bronx delivers. As silly as it is, it remains one of my favorite kung fu movies and I would happily watch it again and again.
So was our beer as kickass as our movie? It kinda was, to be honest. The Bruery’s Mischief Belgian Strong Ale is an easy-drinking, high ABV beer that, in my totally unprofessional opinion, would appeal to drinkers across the spectrum. Pouring a thick, two inch head with a mild Belgian yeast aroma and a light orange color, Mischief is a bit deceptive and is definitely delicious. With your first taste, you’ll be struck with how mild the beer is overall. And not in a bland way. Rather, all of the flavors blend together nicely without any one overpowering the other. You’ll get notes of hops, citrus, banana-y yeast and a touch of booziness. And considering this beer sports a hearty 8.5% ABV, the lack of a strong, alcohol bite is quite surprising. In fact, I have to say that the alcohol snuck up on me, hitting me just in time to write this review. Ultimately, the subtle blend of these flavors and it’s lack of an overstated booziness make this beer easy to enjoy over a long period of time and completely accessible to drinkers of all tastes.
So that’s it, folks. A little Mischief in the Bronx (because, you know, Jackie Chan gets into trouble…mischief…WHATEVER! STOP JUDGING ME!). What’s important is that this is a great, easy-watching movie and a tasty, easy-drinking beer with enough complexity to satisfy a more discerning drinker/viewer. I highly recommend both. Together. Seriously, Rumble in the Bronx is even better when you’re tipsy.
If you’re looking for the complete BAAM experience, I suggest you hit me up on Facebook, Twitter or Untappd. Also, I’ll be attending LA Beer Fest in early April so if you’re planning on coming, let me know!
And as always keep drinking, my friends.
Tonight’s Tasting Notes:
The Bruery’s Mischief Belgian Strong Ale:
–Thick, foamy head
-Mild aroma and flavor, but not without complexity
-Good, easy drinking for an extended period of time
Rumble in the Bronx:
-Jackie Chan’s official U.S. debut
-Fantastic, environmentally-involved action
-Silly plot and silly story, but we don’t care!