The Tuxedo Movie Review

As Jackie Chan gets older, he's had to start toning down his stock in trade -- the amazing stunts and killer kung fu sequences that have made his movies such a joy to watch in spite of their often paltry plots.

Reduced to relying on a few low-risk fight sequences and his physical, Buster Keaton-style sense of humor, the seams are showing -- and they're ready to burst -- in "The Tuxedo," Chan's first Hollywood picture in which he's not sharing the marquee with Owen Wilson ("Shanghai Noon") or Chris Tucker (the "Rush Hour" flicks).

The movie's gimmick is paper-thin: Chan is a New York cabbie recently hired as chauffeur to a rich, suave secret agent (Jason Isaacs). When his boss is badly injured on a mission, Chan has to take his place, aided by the man's super-high-tech go-go-gadget evening wear -- a tux that can make him dance like James Brown, run like Steve Austin and fight like, well, Jackie Chan.

The plot is even flimsier: A megalomaniacal bottled water mogul (huh?) aims to poison the world's reservoirs with a chemical that (ironically) causes extreme dehydration so he can corner the market for fresh water.

Flimsier still are the outfits worn by bubbly, buxom stick-figure Jennifer Love Hewitt, co-starring as Chan's secret agent contact -- a brainy lab technician (yeah, right!) who is the only person smart enough to figure out the bad guy's diabolical plan.

And downright transparent is the script's endless assault of embarrassingly ham-fisted sex jokes that reek of a script rewrite designed to garner the film a "cooler" PG-13 rating. When Chan says "Nice rack" and Hewitt replies "I forgot my bra," that's about as highbrow as this movie's so-called comedy gets.

Despite being excessively slick and deficiently creative, "The Tuxedo" more closely resembles Chan's Hong Kong films (albeit his lesser ones) than anything else he's done since making it big in America. But the crappy movies he made at home were at least made watchable by scenes of unforgettable derring-do. In motorcycle chases through shopping malls, Chan would crash through glass display cases. He'd leap from a roof to the ground, having his fall broken by tearing through floor after floor of awnings. He'd win fights using every object in a room as a weapon (check out the great ladder-fu sequence in 1997 US release "First Strike").

This movie's fights and stunts are uninspired standard fare unlikely to impress anyone -- least of all Jackie Chan fans.

"The Tuxedo" is not without its fun moments, thanks to Chan's charm and silent-film-inspired schtick that carry some scenes -- especially in the early going when he's still getting used to the tuxedo. Chan manages to keep a completely stunned look on his face while playing that the suit has taken control of his body, sending him unwillingly into "demolition" mode or "shake booty" mode.

But without the trademark wows that always buoyed Jackie Chan's home-grown turkeys there's little (other than Hewitt's body on display) to distract a viewer from the sheer (in both senses of the word) idiocy of "The Tuxedo's" story.


Comments

The Tuxedo Rating

" Grim "

Rating: PG, Opened: Friday, September 27, 2002

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Why ‘The House of Magic’ Is The Movie To Go See This Weekend

If you’re looking for a cinematic treat for all the family this weekend, then...

Why ‘The House of Magic’ Is The Movie To Go See This Weekend

Here Comes Guardians of The Galaxy, A Huge Weekend in Store?

‘Guardians of The Galaxy’ hits cinemas next weekend with Marvel...

Here Comes Guardians of The Galaxy, A Huge Weekend in Store?

Bastille - Flaws [Live]

Bastille perform their 2012 single 'Flaws' live at The Troubadour in London to an enthusiastic crowd. The...

Bastille - Flaws [Live] Video

Colbie Caillat - Try Single Review

Colbie Caillat isn't known for producing 'trendy' pop songs of any kind, but she certainly always maintains...

Colbie Caillat - Try Single Review

'The Purge: Anarchy' Launches Another Grisly Franchise

Last year's sleeper hit The Purge was an unusually intelligent thriller starring Ethan Hawke as...

'The Purge: Anarchy' Launches Another Grisly Franchise

Nightcrawler Trailer

Lou Bloom is a hard-working budding journalist whose deep obsession with his career has rendered him...

Nightcrawler Trailer
Advertisement

Bastille - Flaws [Live]

Bastille perform their 2012 single 'Flaws' live at The Troubadour in London to an enthusiastic crowd. The...

Bastille - Flaws [Live] Video

Colbie Caillat - Try Single Review

Colbie Caillat isn't known for producing 'trendy' pop songs of any kind, but she certainly always maintains...

Colbie Caillat - Try Single Review

'The Purge: Anarchy' Launches Another Grisly Franchise

Last year's sleeper hit The Purge was an unusually intelligent thriller starring Ethan Hawke as...

'The Purge: Anarchy' Launches Another Grisly Franchise


More recommendations

Advertisement